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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Queen of Infinite Possibility

I could post a mysterious picture and not explain it one bit.

I could muse about the poems of Bei Dao, as I am reading them and will review for Oyster Boy. I could tell you how he transformed moonlight into grains of wheat that were people.

I could bemoan Sunday's simultaneous uprising from tub and toilet that flowed into the one room in the house that has to be carpeted--and my life with dehumidfiers, fans, and ripped-up carpet propped on bottles to dry.

I could talk about my yesterday with boys of 14 at the Cooperstown Fun Park and the subsequent wakeover, not yet over, no, not yet over.

I could tell why, if you are a kid or a kid-hearted adult, you ought to read Leon Garfield's Smith.

I could assure you that my fortune cookie said that you, dearest of all readers, really ought to get close and personal with The Throne of Psyche. Because I certainly cannot sell my books door to door like the Fuller Brush Man and a certain Canadian poet, male, conveniently male. Because: poetry is good for the soul. And if you have no soul, poetry may fill that absence and give birth to something strange that eventually you are forced to call . . . a soul.

I could share good news wholly unrelated to the perils of old houses.

I could complain mightily about the high cost of multiple college educations, currently balanced on top of my middle-class head and pressing downdowndown.

I could shout into my computer, or at the modem which is currently on the fritz (an e-squatter, I do wonder whose network I am on...)

I could ask you to find my missing car keys, lost in the mayhem of moving flooded articles.

I could attempt to tell you about a series of mystical, overpowering events that transformed me forever.

I could explain exactly how ordinary I am, and exactly how wonderful it is to be an accepted person in a familiar place with rooms and gardens and trees.

I could turn a cartwheel in words.

I could threaten, wheedle, and cajole. I could pass the hat.

I could rejoice in the splendor and radiance of the day in which, at last, there appears to be no rain. (I do rejoice.)

I could dance around the subject of trees, always inspiring.

I could frolic.

But instead, I shall not.

I shall not post.

Not at all, not bit or whit.

I prefer not to: and yet am no Bartleby.


  1. You might have chosen not to turn a cartwheel in words, but you have made confetti from them.

  2. You are indeed the Queen of Negative Capability :-)

  3. Hey, Miss Julie--

    Maybe it is prophetic packing confetti, and soon you will receive an unexpected surprise!


    I thank you. Perhaps I should not have invoked negative capability before--shall get myself into trouble for sheer flightiness! XD

  4. Love it. You are a woman of infinite variety, while when I go to write on my blog, I am as dry as week old bread in a torn bag.
    What IS that picture? Rolls of carpet? An Asian sculpture?

  5. Robbi,

    Then you must make your week-old bread into tasty bread crumbs and bake it on moussaka! Or perhaps saw it into croutons! Or something yummy...

    I shall perhaps tell. Maybe tomorrow?

  6. Only you can write a delightful post about coulds and shall nots! Enough hints at many a subject of interest, including that intriguing and lovely photo... you do tease and thus invite us back for hopeful answers :-)

  7. marja-leena, it must be the effect of spending 25 hours with Other People's Boys! Teasing reigns...

  8. i detect sleep-deprived, fried (yet irrepressibly clever) brain cells.

    my guess on the photo: Buddha's toes, bottom view.

  9. zephyr,

    Yawn, I want to write, but I am, yes, fried. Clever guess.


    Thanks! You are rather a bumblebee yourself, zipping from flower to flower.


    I appear to have connected to a neighbor now that the modem is suffering death throes downstairs. I never realized how many networks there were on my block. Far more than houses...

  10. The flood sounds awful. I'm so sorry. Old houses are quite the burden as they nibble incessantly at our energies and finances. (Talking of nibbling, we've discovered a burgeoning of clothes moths here, and Peter is in an alarmingly vengeful frenzy of murderous intent, with talk of noxious chemicals over the supper-table!)

    This Palace post is a marvel. You are, my dear Marly, a wonderful writer, and I deeply admire your capacity to bring forth nectar from adversity, where most of us would, at best, wring out a dispiriting trickle of grey washing-up water!

  11. Clive,

    Yes, we sprouted some of those too. Check bags of flour and meal if they're not in the fridg. And crackery odds and ends never quite consumed in your magnificent pantry. Summer brings them on. I have a lot of inherited quilts, some wool, that I worry about when that happens.

    Once Mike stored a bag of bird seed in the house in a drawer--moths galore! I could not figure out where they were coming from until--ugh! I found the bag. So you may have one little guilty article somewhere.

    "Dispiriting trickle of grey washing-up water": that would fit in perfectly!

  12. p. s. Thanks for the compliment. I wish we could have a little in-person meeting of a mutual admiration society!

  13. Do you realize how very likable this blog posting is?
    It is very likable indeed, Marly.
    Hope you get your connection back very soon!

  14. Semi-slightly-all-wise Picture-Knower10:19 AM, July 01, 2011

    The mysterious photograph was taken at Wat Pho (วัดโพธิ์), or Wat Phra Chetuphon (วัดพระเชตุพน), or The Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It's the largest Wat in Bangkok and predates the city-as-capitol by several centuries, though the Wat was rebuilt by Rama I when the capitol moved to Bangkok.

    The Buddhas is 46 meters long, 15 high. The feet are especially interesting, being inlaid with bits of mother of pearl to illustrate the "auspicious characteristics" of the Buddha. Those feet had to be big to get in all 108!

  15. Hi Paul,

    Thank you very much! I am glad you like my whirling words, tossed into the air.

    I suppose it will depend on either magic or TimeWarner. Luckily I am not so far from the library and can pop over for a quick connection.

  16. @Semi-slightly-all-wise Picture-Knower said...

    I hate to disagree, but I am *pretty* sure that photo is one of the new Transformers from Transformers 3.


  17. Semi-slightly etc.3:19 PM, July 01, 2011

    Dear Mr. Dietz,

    Merciful heavens! That is such good news. I was sure they were up to 8 by now.

    Perhaps buddah-hood could come to even a Transformer? I know not, having (alas) missed 1 and 2 and now 3.

  18. I contemplate expecting an unexpected surprise, and can you hear my brain folding in on itself? You did that on purpose! :)

  19. Yes, like a little slip of paper tucked inside a folded fortune cookie!

  20. P. S. Do not be like the fortune cookie but like the reclining Buddha and expect nothing.

  21. Fair enough. I'm all about reclining.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.