Juggling

The first thing I did this morning, after I took my shower and stood with my head leaned against the glass shower stall, scalding water running on my shoulders till I woke up properly, was listen to Eric Whitacre’s choral setting of E.E. Cummings’ poem i thank You God for most this amazing day.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings;and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

How should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt the unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Having listened to that, I attempted to turn on my computer, only to find that it was stubbornly refusing to turn on. I fiddled with it for fifteen minutes, and finally got it to turn on. I printed off my calculus III homework that I was up till four this morning working on, and arrived at class twenty minutes late.

After, I skipped chapel (what a heathen am I?) and instead read the short stories for my fiction class that I was supposed to read last night, when I was working on my calculus. In that class, I sat and listened, because normally I’m very vocal. Everybody seemed to dislike the stories I happened to like, even the professor.

Afterwards, I managed to get sick on a hamburger and a bit of orange soda.

I went on a walk to calm my stomach, and made my way down to the arboretum. The arboretum isn’t a building, like it would be in many places, but a patch of forest sandwiched between Rt. 19 and the campus. It is filled with walnut trees that are just beginning to change color, and the light filters through the leaves all green and gold, like fine jewelry.

I took a quick nap there, waking up fifteen minutes after falling asleep when I rolled my face against a walnut. Now, walnuts, if you’ve never seen them right off the tree, don’t look like they do in stores. They have a skin on them, like leather, just like a coconut does. It’s thick and rubbery, and to break it open you throw one against a rock or the pavement of the sidewalk. The pith of the skin is strong smelling—they use it to stain wood, and it will turn your fingers dark mahogany.

I palmed the offending walnut—it felt full and round in my hand, and got loam into the wrinkles of my joints. I gave it an experimental toss, and by the time it came down into my hand again, I had decided that I wanted to learn how to juggle. I picked up two other walnuts of similar size and shape, and began to practice. I stayed in the trees for more than an hour fumbling out basic tossing patterns, and by the time I came out, I was able to, with reasonable competency, perform something that was in no way, shape, or form, juggling.

Then I got on the internet, and found a nice website that told me how to begin juggling, and I discovered that all I had really gotten out of the afternoon was a sore back from sleeping on the grass, three walnuts in my pocket, and stained hands that smell like wood varnish. I failed my quiz in German, because I was learning how not to juggle when I should have been studying.

But I like the feel of the walnuts in my hand, and life is, for the moment, good.

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2 Comments

  1. chughes said,

    September 25, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    It’s good when life is good, when simple things delight and nature distracts.
    Funny that you liked what others didn’t. i always like what others don’t and tire what others love so much when it comes to fiction. i wonder if it’s me, something in me rebeling. i can’t be that different. Do i have bad taste? i don’t think so, i think i taste good.

    It’s nice to hear from you. Sorry about your quiz.

  2. cassandrajo said,

    November 18, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    DK, will you ever write here again?


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