looking forward to creeping across the map

I am exhausted this week. I am not sleeping well--this usually coincides with my going home. Work has been for crap this week; been left feeling ineffectual and ugh. So tired. Should have napped. Now need to get into shower and make myself somewhat presentable for staff gathering at M&N's house. Urgh. So tired.
Going through my previous blogs earlier this evening; doing some copy and pasting of "kernels," (what a writing prof. called it when we read through our writing excercises and picked out pieces that intrigued us enough to want to write more about them) into a document so I can meet last years's goal of getting something together and published before I die.

Flipping through old blogs, momentarily stopping to read an entire one; found myself reading over things I'd written about visits to the Farm when I was living back in Michigan; realized in rereading those entries how much I loved and missed this place when I couldn't be here all the time. Sometimes reading things like that is exactly the reminder we need of why we are where we are after weeks like this.

Reliving my travels as I reread previous posts made me antsy to be on the go again. I think it may have even made me a little more ready to go home next week. I am looking forward to the 12+ hour train ride to Michigan. Time in which I can stare out the window and watch as the world blurs by. It also made me think of this great poem, which I have posted on the blog before, but will post again.

"The Map"

Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.
Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges
showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges
where weeds hang to the simple blue from green.
Or does the land lean down to lift the sea from under,
drawing it unperturbed around itself?
Along the fine tan sandy shelf
is the land tugging at the sea from under?

The shadow of Newfoundland lies flat and still.|
Labrador's yellow, where the moony Eskimo
has oiled it. We can stroke these lovely bays,
under a glass as if they were expected to blossom,
or as if to provide a clean cage for invisible fish.
The names of seashore towns run out to sea,
the names of cities cross the neighboring mountains
--the printer here experiencing the same excitement
as when emotion too far exceeds its cause.
These peninsulas take the water between thumb and finger
like women feeling for the smoothness of yard-goods.

Mapped waters are more quiet than the land is,
lending the land their waves' own conformation:
and Norway's hare runs south in agitation,
profiles investigate the sea, where land is.
Are they assigned, or can the countries pick their colors?
-What suits the character or the native waters best.
Topography displays no favorites; North's as near as West.
More delicate than the historians' are the map-makers' colors.

~ Elizabeth Bishop


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