Monday, September 02, 2013

the gates, the questions, the monologue

Yesterday, driving on the stretch of 92 from Fayetteville to Manlius, I saw a wooden sign advertising for homes or apartments. GATED COMMUNITY, it said. Since this portion of the county houses our landed aristocracy, I entertained questions popping into my head like comics' speech-dialogue balloons: what are the gates for? to block you in? or block you out? to give you security? what is security? security from whom? Trayvon Martin? George Zimmerman? the approaching tanks? the marching menace? are the gates there to protect you from -- wait for it -- THE CITY, and its alleged rampaging crime and welfare and urban terror and guns the NRA says we need to have but They must not possess and everything else the paranoiac fear-mongers outside its borders sell? will the gates be designed to protect you from the Liberal Agenda? or from FoxNews's evangelism of negativity? in short (actually, not so short), will these gates be so designed as to give you peace and quiet, safe from Them and It and That, the peace you have earned and deserve and have a right and entitlement to? those gates?

That's a lot of pompous questions on a Monday afternoon, on a day we call Labor Day but do not labor and instead celebrate as a holiday, thanks to the labor movement (a holiday, unless you are one who must work today: nurses, doctors, police, firefighters, fast-food workers, gas station clerks, mall workers, military, musicians at the fair, fair workers, EMTs, prison guards, caregivers, clergy, and many others).

Speaking of prisons and prisoners, I know a fellow just released from prison. He did his time, paid his debt to society, as the saying goes; a little over two years. What's he going to put on his resume, "Employed at a gated community"?

Sunday, September 01, 2013

turn the page

The turned page I am referring to is the calendar, the one on the wall with images of sunlit vineyards and the darker one in my head and along my veins. I welcome its turning, its flip into September, with promises of cooler weather, falling leaves, lighter branches. My August was stormy, tempestuous, and laden with hollow anxiety. (How was yours?) August is gone. It is so yesterday. Its self-inflicted wounds are already scabbing over, hardening, waiting to fall off so that new skin can be brightly born. September song: shed, shed, let go, let go, tweet, tweet. Say farewell to thunder and rain and prepare for wind and snow and sleet. Welcome the gently falling leaf floating in the dusk offering Vesper prayers with no incense but weary sighs. Hello, curled redbud leaf now yellowed still partly heart-shaped settled on yesterday's lawn tomorrow. Greetings, September.