It’s Labor Day in the USA. Tempting though it is to make today’s newsletter a diatribe…er, meditation on the modern American relationship to labor in general, on the ethereal boundaries between work and not-work, on the rising expectations and diminishing rewards of…
Oh, right. I’m skipping the diatribe. And the meditation. Instead, I’m going to stick to the spirit of the holiday and take a break. In lieu of a longer essay this week, please accept this list of things I saw in a park last Thursday. Without much prodding at all, it began to take a rather poetic shape, I thought.
I’m sending it here in a spirit of observant restfulness.
Seen in the little park below Silver Lake, 9/2/21
A ladder by the reservoir that goes from nowhere up to nowhere
A single magenta leaf from a bougainvillea (though there are no bougainvilleas in sight)
The marker I’m writing with, given to me by that woman near The Grove
because I handed her a dollar or two for bus fare
The melting chocolate in my inner purse pocket
The burp cloth, covered with rhinoceroses, stuck on the barbs of the fence in front of me
The fat little bird, fluffy and gray and white, that swoops down and up again, perches, waits, repeats
The man with his daughter, pretending to plant a fallen tree branch like a sapling
When she tells him she’ll look for some dirt to plant it in,
he says, “Don’t worry about that. There’s dirt everywhere.”