Fugue: 1 a: a musical composition in which one or two themes are repeated or imitated by successively entering voices and contrapuntally developed in a continuous interweaving of the voice parts
b: something that resembles a fugue especially in interweaving repetitive elements.
I’d like to forget yesterday’s disappointed list and restart as if it’d just occurred to me, “Hey, I can accomplish so much today.”
That sort of amnesia eludes me.
I’d need an unimpeded mind. Instead, you can hear my phrases backing up, pooling before every bottleneck decision. I finish so little because I start so much. I start so much because I forget what I ought to be doing… or I would like to forget.
Today, the expression “putting oars to water,” stalls me. I picture a mythical stillness only rowers know, the solitude and silence of morning on glassy water, between the tide’s rhythms, before the rhythms of rowers’ oars set off their day and all our days of traffic and marked hours.
This morning, I’m sitting in that moment before.
I love-hate repetition, and, in my feelings about everydayness, cycle through comfort and chafing. I might be happy reliving the same day again and again if the weather were nice and I had just enough to do.
A string of tally sheet days makes me beg an end to the necklace, relief from weight equal to an albatross.
When I was little and living in coastal Texas, summer days stretched out like dogs in a patch of sunlight or shade. Those days contained few anticipated arrivals and few departures shadowed by regret. Then, time just passed. It didn’t cry for attention or cultivation. It didn’t gather lists. And its rhythms were rudimentary—waking, eating, playing, eating, resting, playing, talking, eating, watching, sleep… repeat.
You should have known me when I was young. If I was young. Sometimes I wonder if anything lies outside this modern world where every moment is tagged, cross-indexed, and given its economic name. Was the world ever in another age?
I’ve forgotten life without oars and imagine it like a dream. Now, no one can forgive me for leaving those oars racked. Least of all me. My worth is in those strokes, the pull of muscle, the hope of movement relative to the shore.
But the exercise is making my body leather to the bone.