Maybe once I had a mind like a steel trap. But now? Well, you've heard about the muffin. You've heard about the origami. Now it might be more like holey cheese. Holy Cheese! That fits perfectly.
Some things stay. Some things get away. Like mice. I love sweet cute little mice. In children's books. And mice are fine, close up, in real life. But I don't like them in houses I live in. They poop a lot in kitchen drawers. I grew up in a farmhouse, where my parents still live, every winter catching a lot of mice that run in from the fields. They keep a running tally. Last year they caught 99 mice, as I recall.
But I might not be recalling the actual total from 2010, just from a particular conversation on a certain day in 2010. I am fascinated by what happens in the nips & tucks of our whole and demented brains.
And that brings me to Agatha Christie, dementia, the fugue state, and NPR. I'm sure I heard a reference to Agatha Christie's failing memory in her later writings, and her possible defense of that in a later book, on an NPR story this past Sunday morning, probably on Radiolab. But I can't quite track it down. Paul Auster was mentioned, too. I can search these terms, but everything folds together into the other stories offered there.
So I leave you to listen to Vanishing Words and to read about the Nun Study, which have folded into my blog before. Agatha Christie really did run away from home one day in 1926, possibly in a fugue state of near amnesia, stressed out and depressed by her philandering husband.
And she really did write a mystery play called The Mousetrap, still running in London, that started out as a radio play called Three Blind Mice!
And we really did experience another mystery in our household, this one The Mystery of the Mousetrap. It's this kind of a mousetrap, the plastic recyclable kind that you can get here, at Trendy Gadget, but which we got at a local hardware store. We caught a mouse in it (sigh...moment of silence/sadness) and put it outside in the snow, where the actual dead mouse was quickly extricated and devoured in the circle of life. (This comforted my husband, whose father did keep, feed, and live with mice in the house.) The trap was left there on the ground to be cleaned later and then, yesterday, appeared on the corner of the picnic table, not placed there by a human who lives in this house, not by a Dog Named Wolf, and not by a passing garage door repairman.
Who put the mousetrap on the picnic table? Was it a) a crow b) an owl c) a squirrel or d) Agatha Christie?
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor and director in Chicago, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited two poetry journals, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and was an assistant professor of English. Now I serve as Poetry Editor and Editor at Large for Escape Into Life, an online arts magazine, write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, tend perennials, and listen to birdsong.