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Friday, May 18, 2012

I try to contemplate it and get more out of it, but contemplation yields up no further treasure, weirdness itself being a little bit of a treasure.





After someone important dies you see their face around more often for a while. That is how I came to meditate on the face of Kurt Vonnegant who died in 2007. And reading magazines about writing, of course I come across his face. When I look at him I see my ex-husband. No one ever told me that Carl looked like the famous writer of Cat’s Cradle and all. How could they not have noticed. He looks exactly the same. Or I should say I see the same in them both. I search every inch of that face of Vonnegant and I see the same nose, mustache, mouth, eyes brows, the hair the shape of his head, everything the same as my old Carl and the expression too, the tired steadfastness.
I like Vonnegants writing, many people thought I should like Carl too. And of course I did at first. But I came to see things in his face that I did not like. I ascribed meanings of dread to the very resemblances I now see in the magazine picture of Vonnegant.
 So it is very weird for me to see that face and know that it is not Carl and the meanings I ascribe to those features and that expression can not be accurate for two different men. I very much doubt that Carl and Kurt were much alike at all. And how could I have grown so tired of one and not the other? Well it’s true that I never finished Cat’s Cradle. It’s a book everyone thought I would like. And I did enjoy many of his other books. I really don’t know why I began to tire when it came to Cat’s Cradle. I like the title.
All I can say is that there is a mysterious feeling about the faces of these two, Carl and Kurt, and yet there is no mystery there. The mystery is why, why do I think they look alike, the one person who should be able to recognize  the difference .

nap time

I Substitute at the College Street Children’s Center, I’m sort of a floater there.
 During naptime I somtimes write, draw, or read.



Today I was in the infant room for lunches, and next it was naptime in the older toddlers room. The older toddlers were just finishing their lunches. I helped them clean up assisting the three-year-olds with getting the lids back on their containers and putting them into their lunch boxes, then walking with them over to the refrigerator so they could “feed” the refrigerator their lunch boxes. Then I set about putting out nap mats while Kathy changed diapers.

Once the mats were out and the diapers were changed I sat, or mostly reclined between Elton and Sara, to help them sleep - I got up when they were somewhat settled to turn on the waterfall background sound, and to pull the curtains shut. Then I settled in-between them again. Elton asked me to sing hush little baby and I did for a while. He wiggled and wiggled and asked me to put his blanket on right. I did and told him that if he lay still his blanket wouldn’t get messed up and he laid still. I put my hand on his chest smoothing and patting a little then just keeping still. Sara on the other side of me, played with my shirt, putting her hands inside my sleeve and I decided this was all right. I remember when I was her age I liked my older sister, who slept above me in the bunk bed, to hang her hand down so I could play with her fingers till I fell asleep. She obliged me and it helped me sleep so I was sympathetic with Sara. I put my hand on her shoulder while she put her hands into my sleeve. Both of them fell to sleep rather quickly, Elton first then Sara. The whole room was asleep a half-hour after the nap mats went out.
 
Little squares of sun escaping from behind the curtains. Everyone was sleeping except Marsha (a college work-study student), and me.  She is reading, probably something for a class. Not sure what she is studying- something political, I think, and French. 
 
Sometimes a child moves or even cries out then I go over to them straighten their blankets and rub their back and they go back to sleep. They might not wake up till its time for me to leave at four.
 
Without thinking about the past or the future how can I expand upon the present moment? I was cold so got up to get a sweater. The music has stopped and now there is only the waterfall sound from the noisemaker. I like it better that way.
 
I can feel everyone is getting a little restless now, 3:30, a little more tossing and turning. Sara migrated off her nap mat and I had to put her back on. The children seem to know when there is no one sitting by them, as they get gradually more wakeful. Waking up is often a gradual process. Many times they will lie there and rest open eyed for a good while after they are done sleeping.
 
Charlie is waking now… I found his hat last time his mother came to pick him up and she was looking for it; when I spotted it she said I was awesome. I love using my sharp eye because when a compliment comes that way, I believe it.