I like serendipity. This was one of our poems this morning, June 23rd:
by Shel Silverstein (1930-1999)
Joe yelled, “Happy New Year.”
The cow yelled, “Happy Moo Year.”
The ghost yelled, “Happy Boo Year.”
The doctor yelled, “Happy Flu Year.”
The penguin sneezed, “Happy Ah-choo Year.”
The skunk yelled, “Happy Pee-yoo Year.”
The owl hooted, “Happy Too-woo Year.”
The cowboy yelled, “Happy Yahoo Year.”
The trainman yelled, “Happy Choo-choo year.”
The clock man yelled, “Happy Cuckoo Year.”
The barefoot man yelled, “Happy Shoe Year.”
The hungry man said, “Happy Chew Year.”
There were more “Happy Ooo-Years”
Than you ever heard
At our New Year’s party…
Last June twenty-third.
I also like rituals. They can turn banalities into monuments, which I suppose isn’t always healthy (Hello, #occupy). Making my bed is a ritual. Bed time dessert can be a ritual. If I have a late treat, I will not brush my teeth after because it ruins the ritual. Coffee, sweet coffee, is a ritual. I don’t pour a cuppa just so I can run around making breakfast and handing out vitamins and cleaning griddles and maybe, maybe drinking most of it before it’s cold. I wait until the kids are through with me so I can sit, pull my darling Alexa close to me, and sip my beans over a few keystrokes. Especially this morning, in the defunct Seattle June. It has given up on us again. Ritualistically: 56 degrees, rain clinging like a syrupy apology. I once wrote:
This is not the June of my fonder memories. Smells like November, if you ask me, and I am beginning to be a little suspicious that everyone is in on a big joke against me. Soon I am going to open a closet in search of another blanket to wrap around myself, and see the pile of real calendars that they have hidden from me, replaced by all of these versions with twelve pages that say June. You can get things over on people by assuming certain behaviors like “he won’t flip the calendar ahead a month.” If I did I would see June. Again. And then June again. I would probably roil in a sense of disaster for a moment, and then resolve to continue to play the dupe because I know that eventually, one of these Junes will look like the right thing, and I’ll be able to enjoy it with fascination instead of expectation. The rest of you will know it is coming, and so curse it when it falls short.
Today I read a comment from some disgruntled citizen in the neighborhood, obviously using a police forum about local crime rates to make sure he honors the ritual of meeting a climate change mention quota. He said “Every year, it gets hotter earlier…” Well, I wrote that piece of mine up there, lamenting the pattern of cold, rainy Junes, six years ago. Let’s go easy on the agenda smuggling, shall we?
My agenda is in the link below. Raise your hand if every. single. one. of your friends votes differently than you do. It’s intimidating, but it builds character. They may be safe, but I’m secure. The definitions of those words are important. When you look at them side by side you see how different they are:
Secure: fixed or fastened so as not to give way, become loose, or be lost.
Safe: protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost.
“Protected from or not exposed.” Oof. If you have kids, make them secure, not safe. High schools and colleges today are being torn apart by kids raised to think that safety is more important, and teachers who feel the same way about their jobs. Good little employees, bad little citizens. But I digress. I don’t know why I put those definitions in there. I’ve seen what we (and the Supreme Court) do with definitions when they aren’t convenient. Wait a minute…
Definition: a statement of the exact meaning of a word, especially in a dictionary.
I would look up ‘exact,’ but again, once we’ve demonstrated that definitions are subject to whimsy, it’s rabbit hole, futility, chants and protests, etc, in saecula saeculorum. There isn’t a sentence in existence that matters. Not that one, not this one, and not any of the sentences in my paper, linked below.
It’s a google drive link. Leave a comment here if it doesn’t work for you.