You may have looked at the name of my website here on WordPress and wondered, “Why in the heck has that fool Mickey called this thing he writes Catch a Falling Star?”
The answer is, he named it after the first good published novel he wrote at the insistence of the I-Universe Publishing’s marketing adviser. Very poor reason for doing anything, that.
But, the secondary reason is because of where that title came from. Look at the first stanza of this poem by John Donne.
So, now, you are justified in asking, “What nonsense is this? That doesn’t have any coherent meaning, does it?”
And you would be right. These are impossible things that I am being ordered to do by a very religious cleric in the Anglican Church who was originally a Catholic, but, in the time of Henry VIII Catholicism was made illegal, and he wrote this poem about not being able to find an honest woman in his drunken, wasted youth anyway. He is ordering me here to not only “catch a falling star” (and catching a meteorite with your bare hands has rather hot consequences), but also to have sex with a semi-poisonous plant, explain why we can’t go backwards in time, determine whether and why God might’ve given Satan goat feet, listen to probably-nonexistent humanoid creatures singing, find a way to avoid anybody ever looking at me with envy and then doing something to me because of it, and, most importantly, find a place where the wind blows in a way that fills your head with facts that actually makes you smarter.
It is exactly what I wanted to write about. Impossible things actually being accomplished. Finding the meaning behind alien beings from outer space developing an intense love of I Love Lucy television broadcasts and Mickey Mouse Club music. Discovering why intensely shy people need to embrace social nudity. Defining who is actually a werewolf and who is not, uncovering who and what real monsters are. Singing songs so sad that it magically makes people fall in love with you. Talking to clowns in your dreams and getting real answers to the meaning of life, love, and laughter.
Catching falling stars is the stupid idea that this wacky, idiotic little blog is about. It is what I write about constantly. You have to kill me to get me to stop. So, there is your fair warning. Read on at your own peril.
The retaining wall that keeps the yard from flowing downhill into the park and down to the creek, is now growing back upwards, visibly straighter and better grounded than it was before.
In his poem “Mending Wall”, Robert Frost suggested that the wall dividing his property and the neighbor’s property is constantly falling down and requiring mending. He gets together with his neighbor and they replace the fallen stones, mending the wall between them. And then the neighbor says the oft-quoted line, “Good fences make good neighbours.” Ironically, the neighbor is not saying that having a wall between them makes them better neighbors. He is saying that their friendship is built on mending the wall together.
And so it is with me and number two son as we labor together to straighten the foundation stones and replace all the heavy stone bricks that we had to remove to get to them. It is hard work, slowed by heavy bricks, one arthritic back, multiple rainy days, cold weather, and fatigue. But slowly we have problem-solved together, discussed the state of the world, and mended the wall. We have also mended our working relationship as father and son. A good wall makes a stronger family in the Frostian sense.
And so, I have come to see how life imitates art, and work begets poetry. A little sunshine creeps back into the picture when you engage in a little rebuilding.