Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Flashbacks and forward

A year ago, I was talking about "reading the wind, and Women and Honor.

Two years ago, I was chatting about Rilke and wondering which MFA program to choose.

I selected Antioch, which has changed its director and its web page in a years' time. Went for a year. Then selected Goddard. I start my second year there in two weeks. I imagine I'll return to LA one day. But now, I am missing the giant buds of lavender and cream white agapanthus, rosemary spilling onto concrete sidewalks, the lonely sycamores with their palomino trunks, and especially, the hummingbird. I am missing the cafeteria staff at the Plaza Hotel, who speak their language freely, the Mexican-born taxi driver who talked about the wonder of America. I am missing the talking stop lights, the strip center sushi shop and the Antioch women who collected there. I'm missing the "secret garden" on the Antioch campus and sweet Laurie who showed it to me.

I can barely recall Vermont. One trip in my youth, driving down a stand of tailored trees, silence all around and greenness. What I know of Vermont is a vague knowledge of cheese, syrup and cast iron stoves. I recall the typesetter and her heavy accent. Bud, who was our ground, our oak, our sanity in those Gainesville days of vivid memory.

And though I've disengaged from Antioch, there's no connection to Goddard. Like other elements of past and future, both exist in a separate chamber, away from the working eye, active tongue, churn of imagination. All my effort is poised on the present.

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