As Diana Stapelton
drowsed in the hot little room on the east side of the house, her feverish
hands clenched unconsciously so tightly that the mere action lent intensity to
her errant dreams -- a light breeze of the fragrant, sweet kind that foretells
spring, rustled the leaves of a magazine near her. And its influence -- so
gentle, so altogether fresh -- roused her from a lethargy. There was new life
in that stirring and it was well that the girl was not fully conscious,
awakened to dissect its meaning and analyze her emotion. For, with an unwonted
pessimism, she would have thrust it aside. As it was, however, the verve of her
spirit leapt forth and welcomed the spring's first challenge.
She opened her
eyes. For the first time in many months, there was peace in them. She
instinctively turned to the window. Outside, there was a mixture of greyness
and dawn. Yet even in the dimness, she could see the firmly packed earth in the
window box just broken to allow 2 yellow green dots to appear in the rich
brown. She stared a little fixedly at the little miracle of life and spring,
all thoughts but the strange wonder of it forgotten. She stared for quite a
long while - for when her eyes moved away, they saw the red rim of the sun
grown much larger and a suffused light covering all the eastern sky, and the
window panes and roofs of the houses in the town below.
The little, sleek
blackness of Leo sidled across the room and rubbed its damp nose on the blue
coverlet. The cat brushed its sleepy head softly against the fingers lying
there, now wholly relaxed, and then returned to a large red pillow in the
corner by the window.
eyes traveled over the little room. She saw on the table placed comfortably
near her bed the half-filled bottles of doctors prescriptions and the white
enameled clock. Then behind these a photograph in a leather frame of three
young boyish faces - tousled and weather-beaten in a way - but grinning with
careless good humor. To the left of the table, the windows and two chairs and a
bureau completed the room.
Someone was rapping at
----------------------------- Facebook post - for context --
The pictorial and anecdotal history of my
family engendered by my decision to get numerous boxes of Kettelhackiana out of
storage is soon, probably, coming to an end. I've gone through all the boxes.
The piecemeal saga I've cobbled together from their contents is of course far
more suggested than explained. But it's been so immensely sweet &
fascinating & I suppose helpful to me.
It's interesting when things
come to one -- I'm at the ripest moment I've ever been to review the past: I'm
not haunted or hurt by it; I feel a kind of dispassion which has allowed me
fully to experience the powerful feelings these images and words and ephemera
have summoned for me without sort of falling into them. I feel free at the same
time I feel completely engaged at a heart-level. None of these images seem
nostalgic or even 'past' to me -- they brim with vibrant current life. I enter
them as if they were happening now. For me, they are happening now.
But maybe the most interesting
part of this is the role that the Facebook stage has played in it -- it's given
me a way to sort of show-and-tell, "without" (to quote from Keat's
passage on Negative Capability), "any irritable reaching after fact."
There's no ultimate truth to be found here. What keeps my sense of these
remarkable Kettelhacks and Blakes so vibrantly alive is the ever-ever-deeper
certainty that they will always be mysterious. No one can be known, really. But
people can be deeply loved, even given that. This has not only altered how I
see my family - it's touched and is touching how I see anybody.
As a valedictory thank you to
everyone who's taken this ride with me, I offer an extraordinary bit of writing
I just now found in a notebook my mother kept - as Alice Blake - when she was
probably her mid/late-teens. I'm guessing around 1933, 34. It's a fragment -
the beginning - of a story. It's moving to me on every count. Her handwriting -
recognizably hers, but still stamped by her Catholic school-girlhood - so
delicate and determined. The romance and 1930s cinematic drama of her
protagonist's name - "Diana Stapelton" - and this bit of story which
suggests that Diana was very ill (the last bit in the fragment has her looking
at photos of her children) -- inescapably, it seems to me, constitute a
meditation on her own mother, Stella Blake (née Stonehouse), who died of
tuberculosis when Alice Blake was still a baby.
Well, that's all. Again, thank
you for joining me on this picaresque Kettelhack/Blake journey. I look forward
to traveling with you on family journeys of yours, when and if you decide to
embark on one. Be prepared to visit many unknown places.
I write roughly one poem a day. This blog is a continuation of a series of poem depot websites I'd also had through google, but which seem now to have filled up with my stuff to the point where I can't edit or add another page.
So here I am. Since April 1, 2009 I've been adding drawings, one a day. To see them fuller size left-click on the drawing - and voila.
To get an idea of who I am, google on "Guy Kettelhack."
To see poems I've written previous to the ones in this poem depot, google on Guy Kettelhack + Act 2 (or just Guy Kettelhack + poetry): for kind unsolicited observations about my work by photographer Rick Shupper: google Guy Kettelhack + Holtermann Design LLC. (I'd provide links but they don't seem to stick here.)
thanks for stopping by.