I no longer walk over to the gym in the early hours. Too dark to cross through the field. But driving back after the workout, it seems most inviting starting down the road to home.
This week I had a check up with my eye doctor after the zapping spots surgery last week. And then a trip to the dermatologist who struck me as having a bit more humor in him than the last time I saw him. Not so prickly. He took bits off my face and I have to go back in ten days to get the results and maybe more holes on the other side.
I asked some Australian friends to recommend books for me to read. Here is the first I will get stuck into. Takes place in Tasmania.
Another one that several were reading is this one on Orwell’s wife. Should be interesting.
This morning after the workout at the gym, I had coffee with the guys in town. Then back home for a little while before walking back to the gym for the weekly tai chi class. I am getting better but the knees complain with the weight shifting. I seem to get the aches worked out by the time I walk back home.
Then a quick lunch and up to the library for the monthly poetry meeting. There were fifteen of us there and some very good bits of writing. I am beginning to understand it all a bit better. I read this one about an old man in my town before here who inspired artwork and writing.
He arrives daily with his hair slicked back and his shoes shined.
Even his work clothes look clean and pressed
as they hang comfortably on his body.
With an agility that belies his advancing years,
he seems capable and ready
for any task at hand.
His sense of order carries over into his shop.
There is a place for everything
and everything is in its place.
Name or initials painted on the tools clarify his ownership
and he expects each to be returned,
not only to him, but to its place.
Assorted hand tools, blades, brushes and belts
hang from every available hook and nail.
All of it labeled.
Drawers and boxes are marked as to their contents.
Jars of nails line the shelves.
It is all here. And it is easy to find.
Each day his shop fills with the smells
of wood, motor oil, dust, tobacco,
and the sound of men’s voices accented with low laughs and silences.
Small stools of scrap wood and old milk crates
are scattered around the shop as resting places between jobs,
offered, as is his coffee, to visitors.
What he enjoys most is the company of men who come by with some repair work.
So he can pride himself in having all that’s needed
to get the job done.
There is a casualness in the shared trust between him and the others around him.
And because of this it seems that each becomes a better man
when in his company.
I come here often to fill a longing in myself
and to remember others like him
who I have lost along the way.
Here in this shop, I watch and wait for him to select
The parts needed to fix the broken.
Here I am whole.
When I finished they asked where or what publication would publish this piece. And before they could get very far, I told them I was not interested in that. The poem was in one of the S. Webster books and that was enough. I think they hunger for being published in papers, poetry books, anthologies, etc. None of that matters to me. Chasing after notoriety at 79 years of age seems to have little meaning for me. I can only hope they understand. They all know where my work is available and I think only one has bought one of the four books. She is the one helping me to understand how children’s books are written.
Speaking of which, I did more drawings for Burke and Wills. One of them shows more of their midlife time together….before heading off to the nursing home where the story will end.
I enjoy the illustrating more than the writing. But I will get the hang of it.
In the meantime, Dilly and Sadie are the best company.
After the brief lunch with three other artists, we have decided to meet here at my place in October to show work and talk art. I look forward to that.
Not much else new. It has been an exhausting day. I have had an early dinner and will likely fall into bed in the next two hours.