Thursday, October 20, 2011

In Medias Res

In medias res is a Latin phrase that means "into the middle of things." The story begins in the middle or towards the end, with flashbacks.

The phrase came to me this morning as I woke, which was a pleasant change from waking with the music of Baba Yaga's Raga or Sex after Sixty going full tilt boogie in my mind as they have been each morning for over two weeks. I suppose they will fade back one day soon, or at least that is my hope, much as I enjoy those two songs of mine. Having songs you've written greet you that way as soon as you wake is a bit like having your kids wake you up by jumping around on the bed.

Jack Leishman's photo--"The View from Grouse Gap on Mt. Ashland"

Well, I couldn't wait until winter to re-read Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward Angel, as I said I would in a recent post. I went to the library immediately and took the book home. I can see why I loved it so much when I was 17. Decades later, I am weary of contemplating grotesque families seen through the eyes of a sensitive misunderstood artistic genius. I confess I skipped parts of the story. It may be great writing but it just doesn't captivate me the way it did.

Instead, I content myself with reading Jane Kenyon's Collected Poems. She suffered from depression but had a very happy marriage. Her poems are wonderful. There are so many of her poems I love. Like this one.


I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

I much admire anyone who can take wonderful photographs. I have not mastered that art myself. I love Jack Leishman's images of our regional landscapes. Jack was kind enough to allow me to include a few of his photos here. These two are taken at Crater Lake, one of the most magical places in Oregon.

May you find such beauty in your home ground.

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