Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mantra Time

Today, when I woke up at 5:00, again ever so slightly stressed about tonight’s poetry reading for nine poets who have poetry broadsides with the Palace of the Governor’s Press, the phrase, “You have all the time in the world” came calling in my mind. Broadsides are a one sided page printed to display a poem, originally a religious tract or a ballad, and these of our poems were set one letter at a time by Tom Leech.

As I took off to swim laps, “You have all the time in the world.”  As I shopped for ingredients, “You have all the time in the world,” and while baking cookies for tonight I set the timer three times for five dozen, and it went by smoothly.  I really tried to hear that phrase and live it.  I think I am rushing to get everything in, whatever everything is, done before my two years as PL is up.  I find myself counting the months like some sort of two year pregnancy when I will gestate a few elephants. Maybe it is because people are asking me about my “legacy” project or what big projects I have in mind.  I found myself getting a wee bit stressed out and I told a perfectly nice woman that my entire life was my legacy project.

As I was swimming laps, realized that the tangible is what we are after, materialists all.  My friend Rick Stevens, when he was dying said, “We walk in the snow leaving deep tracks, and think they will last.”  I am hurling myself at the PL job some days.  Miriam said that Valerie Martinez set a high bar and I am vaulting over it.  This is not limbo at a sleep-over.  This is a moment when my life has been noticed and honored, and of course I meet up with the dread ego, the dread competitor who forgot to go to yoga class and breathe, and the rushing around do-er.  As I swam laps today and forgot how many and lost track of the time, except that “I have all the time in the world, “ I had these thoughts.

Then, yet another coinkydink, my dear mother’s word for the convergences and coincidences in her life.  The lifeguard said, “Hello again.” He was one of the students from class yesterday, there all along at my pool.  He promised to send me his poem which had captured my fancy, both the Spanish and English version.  We talked  about life for quite a while, and I told another employee he was my new best friend.

So, like it or not, I am living La Vida Local.  And I have all the time and happiness in the world.  As I drove home from my swim and shopping I passed the descansos or shrine to an accident victim in the median that I pass coming and going.  Even after highway construction, the family who I have seen gathered in a circle at this site, and who never forgot to change the décor for the holidays, a pumpkin right now, St. Patrick’s green, and of course Valentines, moved the shrine and then relocated it in the median.  This Summer they came up with two large portraits of the young teen, she looks to be about 17.  She looks healthy and smart, and warm.  I like her so much coming and going.  She is making her mark on me as her family holds onto this beautiful daughter.  I think she is named Rebecca or Valerie, something substantial, as she appears to be a girl of substance. And we know the big rush is about our little line dance with mortality.

So I thank my new best friend at the pool, and I thank the median girl,  who lost her life, but did not lose being loved. And I thank time, for being the most misunderstood and crazy of the elements.  

PS.  The reading, which had me in fits because nine poets all may read a tiny bit too long, went off without a major hitch.  If time went too far over, then we would not have time to view the Broadsides,  before the museum guards at the New Mexico History Museum kick us out.  A woman actually said, “I loved every moment of it.”  That’s it, the big secret.  Hope to love every moment of today. A day when we all have all the time in the world.

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