walking in beauty – January 6, 2015

Ivan Generalic  - "Winter landscape" (1978)

Winter landscape (1978)

Ivan Generalic

________

walking in beauty today, a proposition
I’ve taken on from a Navajo prayer as
a daily resolution, I of course looked for
beautiful things, literally at first, roses,
fresh air, sunlight, off to get some
Gerolsteiner, mineral water, at three
bottles for three dollars, a dollar
apiece, usually 2.29, to douse my
white wine, of which otherwise I drink
too liberally, some think, I’d pick up
my medication on the way, for blood
pressure, high cholesterol, geriatric
insufficiencies, drop off empties

in the mall, after the pharmacy, Richard
waved, another Richard, a vagrant, who
calls me buddy whenever I see him,
which is often, he used to sleep behind
the garbage bins at my place until
someone kicked him out, he’d greet me
effusively there every time I took out the
trash, hey buddy

that’s my name too, I said, I’d heard him
called Richard by one of his friends, but
that didn’t seem to register, he was in his
own other world

you know Rami, he said

not Rumi, I thought, the Persian poet,
surely not Rumi

not Rumi, the Persian poet, I asked,
ready, however inconceivably, for
maybe some Rumi, even only partly

Rami, Rami, he replied, your
superintendent

Remy, I laughed, my superintendent,
of course I know Rami

he took us out to New Year’s dinner, he
said, whereupon I was utterly inspired,
I’d never given Richard a dime, never
mind dinner

what a nice man, I admired

I shook his hand, it was warm, firm,
friendly, have a good new year, Richard

later I told Remy

you’re making the world a better place,
I told him, have a happy new year too,
you’re wonderful

he told me he hires Richard around the
yard, for landscaping, he usually spends
his pay at the liquor store

what are your plans for 2015, Remy had
asked him, I take it one day at a time,
Richard replied, Remy calls him Rick

the courage, Remy said of him, the
courage

later while I waited for the elevator, a
young tenant in my building, a sport,
came through the front door, how ‘re
you doin’, I asked, he’d been to
Penticton for the holidays

you, he asked

quiet, I said, family, you know, everybody
older than I am, if you can believe it

wow, he replied

wow indeed, I said back

later still, Mom and I went to dinner,
a nearby haunt, were given again
Frangelicos there on the house

to walking in beauty, we toasted,
counting our myriad blessings

she looked as ever exquisite

she wants to start a foundation, from
the money she’s going to get from
having reread The Secret“, to help
all the people she wants to help, she
reasoned

go girl, I said

Richard