Longing, Limericks and Levity in this Rock and Roll Time

A friend recently shot out a quick email regarding the continuing after-shocks: “I’m tired,” he wrote, “of all this rocking and rolling.”  Other friends, Japanese and other, frequently complain about the constant quaking, these shaky reminders of our ultimate vulnerability.

I appreciate them.  I even, well, I like them. Not that I enjoy imagining myself in a dire earthquake/tsunami situation, scrambling with two children up a mountain to escape the insidious, insatiable waves.  I don’t want to discover first hand whether ‘duck and cover’ is the best course, or if actually the trending ‘triangle of life’ works better if the roof comes crashing. Like everyone else here, I pray I will not ever experience any higher level of shake or wave than I did on March 11th.

But I want to live in the present.  I want to appreciate every single blue sky or yellow rose.  The ajisai will bloom soon; I want to see them.  Too often, I see only my own unreachable dreams, daydreaming about a future that is not mine.  The small tremors act as a gentle call back to reality, like a child’s insistent, sleepy tug to bed. Back to all I have to be thankful for,  helping me forget what I long for — and a strangely whispered comfort: we are/ I am only a human, after all.

I decided this rock and roll time needed some hip quick fix.  Here’s a limerick to even out even the most imbalanced lives  — like mine right now–

Said the Earth to the ants as they scurried

“Whatever can merit this hurry?

All this to-ing and fro-ing

Quite makes me feel low.” and

Earth hiccuped the ants topsy turvy.

(That one, for better or more likely worse, is my own invention.  Here is my favorite limerick, but I am not sure whom to credit –)

A crafty young bard named McMahon, 
whose poetry never would scan, 
once said, with a pause, 
“It’s probably because 
I’m always trying to cram as many extra syllables 
        into the last line as I possibly can.”

Rock on, Earth and all —  Levity can be a soul for shit.

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1 Comment »

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