Friday, July 22, 2016

Poem for Friday and Summer at the Canal

Identity Crisis
By F.D. Reeve

He was urged to prepare for success: "You never can tell,
    he was told over and over; "others have made it;
    one dare not presume to predict. You never can tell.   

Who's Who in America lists the order of cats
    in hunting, fishing, bird-watching, farming,
    domestic service--the dictionary order of cats

who have made it. Those not in the book are beyond the pale.
    Not to succeed in you chosen profession is unthinkable.
    Either you make it or--you're beyond the pale.

Do you understand?"
                   "No," he shakes his head.
    "Are you ready to forage for freedom?"
                                          "No," he adds,
    "I mean, why is a cat always shaking his head?

Because he's thinking: who am I? I am not
    only one-ninth of myself. I always am
    all of the selves I have been and will be but am    not."

"The normal cat," I tell him, "soon adjusts
    to others and to changing circumstances;
    he makes his way the way he soon adjusts."

"I can't," he says, "perhaps because I'm blue,
    big-footed, lop-eared, socially awkward, impotent,
    and I drink too much, whether because I'm blue

or because I like it, who knows. I want to escape
    at five o'clock    into an untouchable world
where the top is the bottom and everyone wants to escape

from the middle, everyone, every day. I mean,
    I have visions of two green eyes rising
    out of the ocean, blinking, knowing what I mean."

"Never mind the picture, repeat after me
    the self's creed. What he tells you you
    tells me and I repeats. Now, after me:

I love myself, I wish I would live well.
    Your gift of love breaks through my self-defeat.
    All prizes are blue. No cat admits defeat.
The next time that he lives he will live well."


I had a very busy Thursday but it was all good. I finished a whole bunch of work before lunch, then took Maddy to Hair Expressions to go over financial aid information with the Paul Mitchell school there, then we went to Ulta, Trader Joe's, and a bunch of other places. Our neighbor is looking for a house- and cat-sitter for when she's out of town, so we went out to dinner with her and her sons, one of whom was Adam's good friend in high school.

Maddy went back with our neighbor to see her house and cats, so Paul and I went for a walk to see bunnies, then came home and watched some Bones and some South Park because pretty much anything would be an improvement on watching Trumpfest 2016 -- I have movies about the rise of fascism if I'm in the mood for that, thanks, and South Park's critique is better than any news channel. From the C&O Canal earlier this summer:

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