I realized that the past few (six?) burnout months at work have coincided with a disturbing lack of reading on my part. I think I've always had a book close by since I could read. One of my go-to pleasures is curling up with a book. The fact that I cannot honestly remember the last book I read is so ODD, it's like saying I can't remember the last time I ate, or peed.
Mary Oliver says 'the world offers itself to your imagination'... and I've been consistently refusing the offer. So even if my stress and attention span temporarily does not allow me to read a novel, at least I can read poetry. Neruda, do your stuff:
Love for this Book
Pablo Neruda (which, I just found out today, is not his real name)
In these lonely regions I have been powerful
in the same way as a cheerful tool
or like untrammeled grass which lets loose its seed
or like a dog rolling around in the dew.
Matilde, time will pass wearing out and burning
another skin, other fingernails, other eyes, and then
the algae that lashed our wild rocks,
the waves that unceasingly construct their own whiteness,
all will be firm without us,
all will be ready for the new days,
which will not know our destiny.
What do we leave here but the lost cry
of the seabird, in the sand of winter, in the gusts of wind
that cut our faces and kept us
erect in the light of purity,
as in the heart of an illustrious star?
What do we leave, living like a nest
of surly birds, alive, among the thickets
or static, perched on the frigid cliffs?
So then, if living was nothing more than anticipating
the earth, this soil and its harshness,
deliver me, my love, from not doing my duty, and help me
return to my place beneath the hungry earth.
We asked the ocean for its rose,
its open star, its bitter contact,
and to the overburdened, to the fellow human being, to the wounded
we gave the freedom gathered in the wind.
It's late now. Perhaps
it was only a long day the color of honey and blue,
perhaps only a night, like the eyelid
of a grave look that encompassed
the measure of the sea that surrounded us,
and in this territory we found only a kiss,
only ungraspable love that will remain here
wandering among the sea foam and roots.