Gentle Work, What Is It

Linda Marie Walker
Everyday, it goes on, work. The weather has been cold - wind, rain, hail, snow. My mother says she can't remember a colder winter. Yesterday she didn't poke her nose outside. My friend in Vancouver tells me about summer: "the heat wave continues - the sky is totally blue - not a cloud to be seen ..." The beautiful Le Tour De France is almost shattered. 'Absolutely Fabulous' on commercial tv. I write 'applications'. It rains and rains. Italian is spoken. And Spanish. Someone questions my food intake and my alcohol intake. I smoke rarely, that is not questioned. I read about amazing seamless pantyhose - parisian, sheer, smooth, elegant - their 'freedom' 'liberating', they equate with 'nothing'. I want them. I also want the treatment for (expression) lines, spots, and wrinkles, with fifteen natural ingredients which assure gentleness. Gentleness, an unusual politic, a form of surprise. The word gentle - is it possible to work- gentle. To go to work gently. To go-gently forth. To go respectfully - every day into the day, with spright. (Spright: spirit, with the ghost of 'being'.) Like a horse, liquid, suggestive. (I will wake sore.) All the cells fused in nightliness - a cat near my sorrowful feet, making recompense, to no avail. Oh, but it's a bad word, gentle. A gentle 'folk' comes from 'a good family' (a gentile one). Is well-bred. Is 'excellent'. Is 'rare'. Is noble, generous, courteous. Oh, gentle reader (for example). A gentle tree is not a wild one, it is cultivated (it could become wild (feral) of course, like the olive). A gentle animal is tamed, easily managed. A haunting waltz: word, plant, creature. A dream happens - then one awakes, wondering, knowing, yet knowing not, sleep. It's often too too much, the love, violence, emptiness. All is gone, swept away, over. Where can I go to be with the dream, the gentle one (who dreams). Where is the mind of memory - where is the forgetting, when I can say: I remember, I have forgotten. I had a dream, I am shy. I recall the 'nothing'; I sit down at the desk in the morning, and I sit down in the big armchair, and I forget, everything - there is 'nothing'. It is wonderful until I remember I am thought-less. Without attention. And then thinking comes back, and in its confusion, as it is not 'me', I unsettle myself and write a list of all that is to be done, yet. And this might be the memorial to 'work', and to gentle-forgetfulness. Who knows inside vacancy - if gentle is not violent. A harshly silent prod about the beyond - what it might be like - or its opposite. No letters, no phone calls, no no no. Not even 'no' said - like no, not now. Or whatever. Is there a gentle no. No. There is then, afterwards, before too, and during, as duration, the work. Working perhaps - the work of working. The work also of thinking 'gentle'. The implications.

 



or this : A gentle tree is not a wild one, it is cultivated (it could go (become) wild (feral) of course, like the olive trees in the Adelaide Hills, which were imported and planted in groves, and are now being 'eradicated')


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