What I like about “View from the Hot Tub” is that the hot tub and the view puts me in a good mood, gets me thinking…and they’re not negative thoughts. Tonight for example I’m happy: there’s a little mini-blizzard whipping the snow around, almost obscuring the point out front and only leaving a ghost of the opposite shore visible. And I’m totally comfortable although there’s snow on my head and I can’t see clearly. Seems a decent allegory if I want to remain happy and content — although the wind blowing out of the east is strong and has a bite, even an over-bite.
Then, something I heard, probably on PBS on my drive up from Thanksgiving in the Twin Cities, blows into my mind out of nowhere…something that happens frequently when you’re alone in the hot tub. Anyway, it must have lain latent in my memory until the hot tub brought it out of obscurity, and I realized it was the perfect analogy for everything. It was the best “Plum Poem” ever.
Now, I’ll have to explain what I mean by a “plum poem:” William Carlos Williams wrote a poem titled, “This is Just to Say,” and I used it when teaching my writing students back in the day. It goes like this:
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
They were delicious
and so cold
It may seem like an innocuous little poem that doesn’t mean much. But if you stop and think, use your imagination a bit, you’ll see it means a bunch of different things, is an analogy for a lot of shit. So we called it “the plum poem" and my students had to write a plum poem of their own…you know a poem that served as an allegory or analogy for as many things as possible.
Well, the plum that blew into my mind this wintry evening, I believe, is the ultimate plum poem:
We are not made
in God’s image.
He (she) is made
Maybe the snow fogged more than my vision, but doesn’t this explain just about everything? Really!? I can’t take credit for the words, but you could give me credit for recognizing the universality of the plum, and reviving, while having been not even really listening, the recollection.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.