My kids came up with a cottage industry for me. I am known as a famous and relentless worrier, despite a line in a poem about my daughter Corina that says, "Worry is reverse prayer." They remind me of that and know it doesn't help. I think I worried from before memory.
Lately the wild fries and drought have given me plenty of fuel for my own fires, and the kids came up with this business. For a mere $4.95 a month I will do your worrying. I don't think it will make me ill, as someone suggested. I think I can keep distance, either aesthetic distance, aerial view, or professional boundaries. Also, i identified with the line in Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery where as the Great Splendini, he said he used to be of the Hebrew persuasion but recently converted to Narcissism. Perhaps that alone will give me the ability to listen, or better yet imagine your worst case scenarios, and then much as the Sin Eater of southern culture ate the sins of the dead, I can digest the worries of the living, and not really care too deeply about you. Only $4.95 a month for the first year.
You understand this would be after I fulfill my Poet Laureate duties this year as it might prevent me for giving full attention to that job. Speaking of which (see how I can bring every conversation around to PL) I am furrowing my brow all week about the Rotary's Pancake Breakfast on the Santa F Plaza tomorrow. I haven't been able to write a new poem, though I have begun about eight.
I suffer from the opposite of patriotism which is not scorn but matriotism. I pledge allegiance to mother earth or Gaia, children, cooking and hearth, and the flags I fly are prayer flags. Yesterday I finally decided to make a tree flag-- we had just heard a wonderful Jungian lecture which spoke about Frida Kahlo, Emily Carr, and Georgia O'Keeffe and lots of tree paintings in the face of the largest forest fire in NM history. So I gave up on poems and with a Sharpie drew a tree on one prayer flag and on the GENTLE RAIN flag covered it with rain drops, a form I had never even doodled. Within an hour we had a torrent and hail, and no electric power for six hours and more rain and the arroyos gor flooded and furrowed more than my brow. Michael was out there in the lightening closing up the kids' yurt and trying to divert the arroyos. The little plank bridge we used for 25 years to walk to our neighbors was swept away. The new renters, Hope and Leland, Monique, lots of our neighbors trying to get home.
So this morning we walked down and by Harriet Smith's house the arroyo cut about seven feet down. It's a mess. We do have a way out by the fire station. Nobody in Santa Fe really knows how it is up north. I spent the morning trying to hear if it helped at Santa Clara Pueblo where 13,000 acres burned. There was nothing on the news, and I realized that I have had the privilege of writing poetry with these children for five different years. I think if you work with children you know the beauty of a culture and glimpse its soul. Last week I was at a marriage feast for a young woman I taught poetry to for a year when she was 12. I hadn't seen her for years but she is so lovely and I took an instant liking to her husband. I have a loaf of bread, round as a face, which the family insisted I take. I took it from the freezer when the power was out. The power is back now. It's still smoking over the pueblo watershed. The birds sing even if they are evacuated. I may evacuate myself to a friend's in Santa Fe for a night so I can fulfill my PL duties at Pancakes on the Plaza even if my rainmaking continues to work. I'd worry all night if I didn't. 10:15 on the Plaza on the Fourth.Hopefully, I will be there, with Giant Pencil.