What cycles up When on the random shuffle on a 7,231 song playlist and Why?
Is it so random?
The ears tune into her lyrics, Joan Armatrading’s “Heaven“:
“Am I in Heaven? Am I in Heaven? Am I in Heaven? Have I gone up. Have I gone up. To the big cloud.”
This asphalt. This footfall. This foam cushioning my footfall. This swoosh of a flock overhead. This red breasted robin foraging on the damp grass. This gentle morning breeze cooling. This bead of sweat that’s made its way from forehead to cheek to lips, this salt lick. This sky stretching to the heavens, down to earth, to this ground, to this hip, this thigh, this leg, this calf, these feet – all propelling this body forward.
This, not the Rue de l’Abreuvoir in Paris. Not the Ramblas in Barcelona. Or the gardens of Łazienki Królewskie in Warsaw. This patch of ground here. Here. Now.
Merwin’s moments: Just this, just this, this room where we are. Pay attention to that.
I round the bend, this last stretch home. This Man in the middle in this space between Belief and Not.
And What Thought, of the billions possible, cycles up When, on the random shuffle upstairs, and How and Why?
Can it be so random?
And, then, this, this final thought comes from Mary Oliver in Where Does the Temple Begin, Where Does It End?
“There are things you can’t reach.
But you can reach out to them, and all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away.
The idea of God…
Of God, the blue air.”