Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein
Woman with a brilliant mind

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

So I took a journey, threw my world into the sea...

I can take the bus to Gertrude's place, or I can walk, or drive. Today I've decided to walk to her place, but just right now I need to sit down and write this on my tablet.

I'm in one of those little neighborhood parks where there's a small play area for the kids, a small fountain and a couple of saggy, paint-peeling benches, surrounding a historical monument for someone who achieved...something. I can hear the traffic all around me. Somebody missed the trash can with their crumbled McDonald's bag.

But I'm in a state of near-ecstasy. The sky above is full of clouds, and it reflects from a little puddle in the concrete below my feet. The clouds look as if the wind shredded a cumulus cloud and painted it shades of soot and wool. The sunlight is hidden but what comes through is a side-lit glow. The greenery is also lit from the side, and so there's a lot of dark green but the tops of the bushes are shining with translucent, glassy green. And there are scrub rose bushes with pink blossoms, also lit.

I've got my earphones in, and my music is playing Jethro Tull, and the song is Teacher.

I feel a little cold on my face and hands from the wind gently whipping its way through every crevice, twig, and finger.

I haven't written this blog for a long time because I injured my shoulder. The pain has all but gone completely away. I just have some nerve-sensation in my index finger, but still a lot of weakness. My shoulder still reminds me that it isn't whole or strong anymore. But the good thing is, it's taught me the value of exercising my body. I used to be so strong, I thought I'd stay that way. But I'm going to be fifty years old in just over a year. The strength and energy ebb like the ocean. Injury can bring pain like a tsunami into my carelessly-built life.

I might be able to find what Gertrude found out decades ago: the identity of the human being I am.

I think of her, the way she's kind of perfectly imperfect. The thing is, she knows it. She's so beyond that. Not me--I still think I should be something other.

So, on my way to visit her place, I hope to get a little more of that completeness you find when you visit there.

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