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A Good Bloomsday To You

June 16, 2017

Bloomsday has a way of catching you unawares. Fixed, scheduled, certain– nonetheless it has all the surprise of a living animal. Sometimes you try to prepare for it, make plans for it. You pull out the dusty book from your shelf and flip through the dense pages in anticipation, attempt to pull yourself together, ready to meet the day. And maybe that works out well for you. Maybe not. Sometimes — more and more as the years pass — you arrive at it through distraction or insouciance. Your mind is on other things. Isn’t it always? Some things that are just other. Or you feel cocky: doesn’t it always work out, Bloomsday? Why worry? But then the sad regrets come. You feel like you have just let it slip away from you, again. Someone, somewhere, must be doing it just right. Those smiling faces that you pass. The confident ones. Heroes of their own stories. But then, not quite Joycean heroes are they? Wouldn’t it being doing it wrong, to do it so right?

And as you count them out, your Bloomsdays, you know they must come to an end. Only so many, then no more. How terrible that anything could be so precious, that you must lose. The only worse fate: if nothing were.

And what about the Guinness, The Milkshake of Beers? Always giving you a headache, and yet you’d have to drown in it to get drunk (which is, they say, the Irish custom). You will have to turn to whiskey later, and ibuprofen.

But now it has come, Bloomsday again, and your glass is full, your mind a river of words. It feels like something, like being alive. The earth turns on its axis.  If you grasp the day too tightly the bloom will never show. Hold it gently, attentive and curious, like a bird or an old book. Yes.

The real potato is the potato of imagination. Here it is. Take it. Put it in your pocket. Happy Bloomsday.

From → Bloomsday

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