At this moment I experience the desire for spontaneous grace. For the rain that
holds off till ten minutes after your hike, for the extra five minutes a friend
waits until your arrival, for the extra twenty miles your car somehow runs until
the gas station.
For the soft edges on the too-metallic recliner, for the last three rays of the
sunset, for the directions you look up at the one coffeehouse where the public
computer actually gets Wi-Fi.
For the reason why some businesspeople stop and give change to a strange
homeless person, for the reason why a receptionist smiles and lets you in too
near closing time, for the reason why people share words of support and a few
bucks to folks online without asking for proof first.
For the mirror kind enough to break and shift your image in all the right ways,
for the dandelion in the cracks that escapes the neighbor’s weed-whacker, for
the train that waits for you.
For the traffic cop who winks – just once – at the jaywalkers or the driver ten
or fifteen miles over the limit, for the single parent whose garage sale
customers tell him/her to keep the change, for the time your housemate who loves
angry talk radio actually switches on music.
For the gleam of a rainbow in the soap scum on your dishes, for the time when
your Mom actually doesn’t open her mouth when there are still dirty dishes in
your room, for the reason I still do favors for a friend everyone says could do
more for herself.
For home, for love and memories, for the grace notes at the end of the symphony.
For the extras which get and keep us up in the morning. For spontaneous grace.
— After the concept of ‘Spontaneous Prose’ and dedicated to Jack Kerouac, Neal
Cassady, Edie Kerouac, Gary Snyder, and Diane Di Prima.
Lettuce, olives, and hummus.
I glance over the list of requested ingredients before spreading the garbanzo
paste over the whole grain bread, perhaps too neatly for a customer in a hurry.
Mayonnaise, tomatoes, and pesto.
He orders the same every day. Perhaps as an effort to reduce life’s complexity,
a suffocating variety present even in our deli kitchen. Some say he should try
more experiences, branch out, but some regularity is needed to make experience
Peppers, mustard, and tuna.
The woman’s children gather anxiously around her, tugging at her pant legs and
whining to go outside. As the last rays of sunlight waft in from the sliding
glass doors, I can’t say I blame them.
Cheddar, mayo, and lettuce.
She watches me work and requests more of everything, more cheese, more mayo,
more vegetables, until it becomes difficult to hold her order together. Perhaps
this is like life – not even that too much happens, but that everything mixes
together at once.