Sunday, August 30, 2009
Last night I had a dream I met Walt Whitman's son, Ben. Ben Whitman.
Of course, as far as I know, Walt Whitman does not have a son named Ben, but there he was in my dream. He was saying he didn't know who his father was (he was probably in his fifties) and there was an announcement for anyone who might be able to help this man. I just remember searching a bookcase for Leaves of Grass with the above photo of Whitman on it and saying, "You look just like a young, shaved version of him." Somehow, we were sure it was him by the end of our talk.
I always wonder what poet dreams like this are telling me. I have been camping for two days and have not had poetry on the mind at all. Why was I thinking of Leaves of Grass? Of Whitman? Of a ghost son?
Maybe there's a poem in here for someone or for myself.
On a personal note, I wiped out mountain biking yesterday and almost ended up in the ER. What was stupid was that it was on what I'd call a "bunny hill." I was in my head thinking about autumn and other mountain bike hills I'd ride with the leaves changing and I absent-mindedly reached for my left brake (the front brake). Anyone who has ever ridden knows that if you want to completely flip over the front of your bike, this is the brake to press.
So my front wheel locked and I went flipping over the front of my bike and got a nice bruise/raspberry on my leg. That wasn't the issue, the issue was while I didn't hit my head, I somehow whiplashed it in the flip and had a terrible headache on the right side of my brain as well as pain behind my eye.
I was far enough ahead of my bike riding partners that I was able to get up so I wasn't found in my awkward position of girl in dirt, bike on body. I kept on for about 4 more miles then ended feeling as if I needed to go back to camp and rest.
Thankfully, my husband is a firefighter/EMT so he watched me for any bad signs.
I kept saying, "I don't want to be Liam Neesom's wife" to which my husband being unaware of the tragedy that happened to her said, "Why not? He's a rich and handsome man..."
Finally, the pain faded enough that I felt as if I didn't do some major damage to my brain.
It was a good reminder to:
1) Stay focused, even on the easiest parts.
2) It's okay to be in your head, but be in the moment when you need to be.
3) Mistakes happen even when we think we know what we're doing and have done it a million times before.
4) Always wear a helmet.
All good messages that can also be transferred over when writing a poem-- well, except for the helmet one, that would just be silly.
Written by Kelli Russell Agodon