I am a writer and therefore always concerned with ‘plot,’ (the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work). If I think of my life as a dramatic work, and in 2020 isn’t everyone’s life a drama-rich work, than I must pay attention to the plot, mustn’t I? Increasingly it seems the Marjorie-plot is getting harder to find…in fact, I’m almost positive I have “lost it”: to lose one’s ability to understand or cope with what is happening)
In case you’ve been away…in another galaxy perhaps…we humans are murdering our one and only planet; the U.S. has a greedy and certifiably-crazy narcissistic sociopath for a president; and then there’s that silly pandemic killing a whole bunch of people all over the world. Closer to home: I am moving, a happy move but nevertheless nerve-wracking; my California son, who was coming to help, has a wrecked knee; my friend’s sister’s house burned down in a Colorado fire; perhaps my art center will never come back to life; the big amazing glorious African journey of 2021 is looking iffy; the book I’m writing is a huge chaotic mess, and, and did I mention I’m old and at the poorish end of the 99%. Can you see how my life’s ‘plot’ might disappear? And how I would be a seemingly permanent state of bafflement. 
Baffled for just a day or two (Emily Dickinson)

Baffled for just a day or two –
Embarrassed – not afraid –
Encounter in my garden
An unexpected Maid.

She beckons, and the woods start –
She nods, and all begin –
Surely, such a country
I was never in!

Perhaps I am always baffled because I read too much Nordic Noir. Murder, murder, murder murder murder, and the only things I ever contemplate killing are spiders and mosquitos. I’m suffering from cognitive dissonance. Which is baffling. The books in the photo are from a 2014 stack I was passing on; I have many new ones.
For now…I looked up poems about bafflement…because I am baffled (totally bewildered or perplexed)  by everything…the world, my country, me.


A Baffled Mind (Ric Bastasa, Filipino judge and poet)

oh it is just
a diversion, a hobby,
something done and which
could simply be set aside

just like eating a banana
and throwing half of it
to the sea from a boat
where you are
contemplating of the
place that you are going,

what do i do there? what
for? this trip is not that
important as i leave
other life-death

the sea is stormy
and the boat is shaking
and those who
are certain about where
to go
are here in their vomiting

one jumps over the boat
and kills himself
allegedly to forget
and be gone,
which is another sad
story that comes into
your life and then
dissolves itself into

if you hear about it
you did not listen much
about the other details
just a normal occurrence
in these harsh times,
and you have your own life
to live, your own
story to write,
your own, your own
and it is still ongoing
without a plan for
a happy ending, or
just an ending perhaps,
just to finish it
and find another
plot, an extremely
complicated one
and must not baffle
a baffled mind.

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