Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dear Friend,

I was going to write you a letter today on the backs of old grocery receipts. Yards of scribblings in ink that will only disappear if you keep them in your pocket; leaving behind the random history of my family's eating habits and the price of groceries. 
This morning's oatmeal sits congealing on the table and the pile of Little People are abandoned in a heap by a hooligan earthquake in the middle of the living room floor. It all sits, but it will continue to sit a while longer. This stuff of life - the repetition, the ritual - it's always there. Comforting in its way, I suppose, but what a thing to define a life. 
I thought about an old poem of mine, scribbled on manuscript paper, my current copy a color laser print of the original (there's a message in there somewhere about the passage of time, but I digress...)

"cold hands
in my pocket
found it
there amid the
always been there
now it fits"

A life changing encounter reduced to the contents of my pockets the day I wrote the poem. But if you read enough murder mysteries, you know that your whole life can be reduced to the contents of your pockets on any given day. Hence, the grocery receipts. They'll tell you more than I ever will.