Four-poster dull torpor?

Maybe it’s the diffused light through the solid sky of clouds. No doubt that’s what pulled the grey pencil-leg trousers and the slate-blue wrap from my closet. Maybe I can point to the all-Leonard-Cohen channel the public radio station has become; “Hallelujah” can have that effect on a body.

I’ve been drifting downhearted for a few weeks now, though. The “no, thank you” messages keep sliding into my email; the string of beads they make seems like they stretch back to January 2015. (I remind myself this is not accurate: I had one work accepted for publication in January 2016, too.)

I find writing the oddest of callings. Just now I thought I’d console myself with a thumbnail biography of Madeline L’Engle, with her thirty rejections for Wrinkle In Time and her decades of struggling between focused writing and hands-on parenting. (Poems are so much smaller. Also notice that my nest is empty in this my time of daily writing. When the girls were/are here, not so much-!) She felt exactly like this, was repeatedly quoted voicing her lost-feeling, her confusion at being spurred on the one hand and ignored on the other. LORD God, what on earth is this all for? What’s it about, anyway?

When my brain hunkers down in this groove, I frequently see myself in the clay of Isaiah 29:16:

Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?

Shall the thing made say of its maker,

“He did not make me”;

or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,

“He has no understanding”?

That’s me, grey and slippery, bunched down, muttering with my non-mouth, “Why do I do this, anyway? And why can’t I stop doing this?”

In the shower, while singing a particular verse of Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” I decided it’s a Sufjan Stevens kind of day. I only have the one album so far, Illinois, but all of his music seems to me to be diffuse, somehow muted even when it’s loud, with lyrics that could be moody but often aren’t, somehow. Like this grey, maybe-raining day. Like my ego, wishing for human acknowledgement. Even better for today’s soundtrack? Stevens’ faith is laced through his work without being what the songs are “about.” Standing exactly where I stand. So instead of leaving you with cranky clay cups and water-jars, I will leave you with this: 

You came to take us

All things go, all things go

To recreate us

All things grow, all things grow
We had our mindset

All things know, all things know

You had to find it

All things go, all things go
–“Chicago”

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