Archive for May, 2012

wish list

May 28, 2012

At the beginning of each month I write out a list of what I’d like to buy with my disposable cash. I’ve been doing this for years now.  I’ve been so broke at times that the smallest things — moisturizer, hangers, running shoes, a swim pass — are great luxuries.  Now I find that when I start whining that all I do with my income is pay bills, I can take out this list, see what I’ve wished for and checked off, and shut up.

It’s certain that I don’t get to everything on my list the first month I write it down.  May has almost spooled out her days and “batteries” remains, for instance.  Batteries for the camera my friend gave me so I could take pictures of Bandit (he’s so cute I’m afraid someone will grab him and I’ll be making “Lost kitten” signs); batteries so I could take pictures for this blog.  I know next month’s list will identify “haircut” and maybe “save for vacation,” but I’m hoping “batteries” will eventually be crossed off.  It’s long past time for something visual.

The beauties of spring have rushed by:  azaleas and lilacs, peonies and irises, locust and catalpa blossoms.  Even the honeysuckle has gone, leaving the fireflies alone to decorate the twilight.  As I think about what lies ahead, I can write down the things I wish to purchase, perhaps because such wishes are small — they are merely material goods, in the end, those things easily foregone.  But I can’t bring myself to name any dearer wish for this summer like love or art, joy or peace.  Being a clever girl, I could rationalize my resistance, but deep down I’m simply a coward.  To name one’s desire is to provide the terms of one’s failure.  

A friend copied down this Sophocles fragment on Aphrodite which I will lean on to complete this unfinished thought:

She is called by many names
She is Hades, she is immortal life, she is raving madness, she is
untempered desire, she is lamentation.
In her is all activity, all tranquility, all that leads to violence,
for she sinks into the vitals of all that have life.
Which among the gods does she not wrestle and throw 3 times?
She rules over the heart of Zeus without spear, without iron.
All the plans of mortals and of gods are cut short by the Cyrian.

Name or unnamed, the truth is that desire lies deep within us, moving our lives forward.  This summer I will try to work harder wrestling with the important battles and leave the shopping lists for another season.