Advice to Myself
By Louise Erdrich
Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.
Cheryl came to visit on Monday, braving rain and traffic to get here, so that we could have lunch at Cava and go see Frantz with Paul. It remains excellent on a second viewing, in some ways more so after knowing where the unexpected things will appear. By the time we were finished, the rain had stopped, so we went to Brookside Gardens to see the azaleas, tulips, wisteria, turtles, geese, snakes, and amphibians (spot the hiding toad in the pics):
We came home late in the afternoon and watched some Robin of Sherwood -- apparently I am the last person in the world to figure out that the Mark Ryan on the show is also the Mark Ryan who created the fantastic Greenwood Tarot, though I can't figure out which deck was used in "The Inheritance"! Then Cheryl had to go home, so Paul and I caught up on Billions (so much ugliness) and Once Upon a Time (if only Charming and Snow could have stayed asleep!).