Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On The Beach

I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.

T. S. Eliot
A few days ago I went to the market and bought two peaches. I brought them home and put them in the refrigerator. Yesterday I ate one. It has been many years since I ate a peach. I don't remember how many. I don't mean a can of peach halves or peach slices, but a peach. A soft fuzzy peach. It was delicious. It went to my stomach like a kiss.

After the peach I had a coffee. I know about coffee. I'm a coffee addict. If I had a dollar for every time I spooned some coffee into a mug for myself I would be writing this from my villa overlooking the ocean, where the mermaids play.

A coffee spoon doesn't hold very much, but it's enough for the mug and enough to hold the pieces of my life to be seen and heard, to be imbibed and digested one by one.

In my seventh decade I do as many older people do. I sometimes think back over some of those spoonfuls and wonder. How much of the time did I spend in the mundane tasks of measuring and how much in the ethereal tasks of the poet, the artist. I have watched for the flickering wings of the angels during the magnificent sunset as they vacated they day and left the world to the angels of night. I have listened for the songs of the mermaids as they combed the rising tide. I have walked along ocean beaches and wondered. And can I do that and not eat a peach?

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.
(T. S. Eliot)

It is enough if I hear them singing. It is enough for me if I can see the angels flying. If I can only measure it in a coffee spoon, it is enough.

Dana Bate
The Vagabond

(This is not a contest.)

At what event of the past do you wish you could be present? Why?

5 responses so far.

Thank you.


Arlene (AJ) said...

A good blog as usual DB. Did I ever tell you that the town I live in as the fame and claim of being the "Peach Center of the World" here in SC. Everyone thinks it is GA but, it's not. I do my measuring in a tea spoon (I'm a definite tea addict) and it is enough.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing T.S. Eliot DB. I don't read much these days. My book of 500 favorite poems is going to waste.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

You are what you eat :o)

Lori said...

Very nice entry. This is one of my very favorite poems, and my favorite of Eliot's, and your opening quote is probably my favorite line from it. I think I quoted this in a post a year or so ago too.