What I Read

A woman went to the North
to live between the mountains
away from the world, and it
was there that she wrote about
the mainstream news stories
you and I read on a regular
basis. Her premise discussed
how inconsequential it is for
trains to crash and awards to
be given and mild rain to
pass through and new hires
to be announced (some of these
were made up for effect) when
you live in the wilderness. I
suppose out there a person’s
perception changes and isn’t
so centered on being better
than they were the day prior.
Anyway, I have not viewed
news in the same light since
reading her words, and am
adding a few of my own here
so that you might make your
own decision on what I read.

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Shiny Objects

To the left of my piano hangs a painting of a Chincoteague Pony. My father bought this for me just before I became a teenager, so I did not appreciate it then but I do now. It was painted by a local artist and sold for $250 at a cafe by the beach near to where I grew up. This is what I remember being told about its origins; I was young when he gave it to me, and sometimes our memory changes our truth, but I think that I have recalled this correctly.

The painting is behind glass, so when I sit at the piano I can see my face reflected in it. I often look over and watch my silhouette as I’m playing and think about how long my hair has grown or what angle my jawline is taking or if my posture is straight. I hate that I look at myself this closely, but it is how I have gotten (climbed) to where I am–such ruthless attention to detail, such heightened awareness–so I find that I simultaneously appreciate this part of myself.

This is not the first piano that allowed me to see myself. At twelve years old my parents purchased a black lacquered Yamaha that was for many years kept against the living room wall nearest to the front door. I could sit at the piano bench and look directly into its dark gloss finish and see my face reflected, like looking into a tinted mirror or opaque window.

Once I became a good pianist, I could play the keys and watch my reflection at the same time – meaning that, simultaneously, I heard what was on the inside and saw what was on the outside. If this sounds intimate this is because as a girl it was, and as a woman still is. I am today no less fascinated to experience myself in this way, to discover what is reflected in my music, in one way and sometimes two.

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Send

This article
I think
might be
appreciated
by you

It has been
three and
one half
years but
why not

I open a
new email
message
and type
the note:

Thought you
might like
to read this
so just
sharing


And look
your city is
mentioned
among the
others


I am sure
this will
spark an
exchange
and soon

It is only
two minutes
until I am
notified:
undeliverable

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At the Gate

Once the race is run
don’t the horses circle back
counter clockwise across
the same turf where once
they stood inside the gate
muscles warmed, minds
furlongs in the future.
Isn’t it also true that in
running the final stretch
they return to the place
new races will unfold?
If I were a horse consider
me ready to be loaded in,
not for the first time,
listening closely for the
bell in the way that I once
was a mare inside a gate
waiting my turn to run
and would like to again

December 30, 2019

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