Front cover of my ebook. Available here soon.
I was counting the weeks. One holiday was ending in January and the next would begin in March. Looking at the calendar, I counted 9 full weeks and then three more days. That’s how this began. Counting down the weeks, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, until my next holiday.

That led to thoughts of the 9 times table with its magical mystery that makes the total of the digits of the multiples of 9 equal 9. 18 is 1+8=9 and so on for 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90. Then there is the grade school trick of writing out the multiples of 9 by counting up the tens, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, while counting down the units 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0. Amazing mysteries of mathematics.

From those quirks of 9 to these poems is maybe more difficult to explain. I write poems. The weeks of winter and this number sequence was on my mind and the idea of how we count down the days, always looking forward to the next holiday or weekend or special moment, often missing the meaning in the moments of transition. Not remembering the change, not living in the present, just looking forward to the next thing until its over, over and over. So, 9 weeks, 9 times table, 9 poems about 9 stages of life, its changes and transitions, from 9 to 81, counting down and counting up in symmetry at the same time. And that’s when I thought of the structure.

I looked to my muse, the mighty butterfly. I recalled Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the epic poem about change in which the 9 muses appear. I thought of the nonet poem structure of 9 lines with 9 syllables in the first line, 8 in the second line and so on down to one syllable in the 9th line. I wrote three poems in this format, but found I needed more words, so I expanded the format to 9 lines with 9 syllables in each line. Poetry. Butterfly. Erato. Love. Life. Art.

So inspired, I spent the next 9 weeks writing these 9, 9 line poems with 9 syllables in each line. I’m not sure it achieved what I had envisioned. I found it difficult to capture universal truths without delving into my personal experience, especially in the poems about the years I’m currently living. And poems about the past or future don’t really capture what it’s like to be 27 or 72 for example, but rather, what it was like for me, or what I think it might be like someday. But maybe my feelings and experience will ring true with someone, one, and that’s enough.

The above text is going to appear in the e-book...but here I might add some words about the other things I posted in the last 9 weeks besides the poems, and the feelings behind the songs and other random thoughts. As well as the countdown to a holiday that I mentioned above, I was also counting down to the end of this blog. Maybe not the end of Horizons in Disguise but the end of the butterfly. I'm worn out by the hopelessness of it. I'm sad that my words and songs and truly warm intentions, meant with love and affection and feelings of hope and desire and respect and admiration are actually hurting....even more, it seems, actually killing the one thing I'm trying to nuture. My muse. I have an infinity of thoughts and words and hopes and prayers and dreams and wishes and songs and poems and photos and plans and fantasies and desires and truly deeply caring feelings of love and affection. Dreams, day and night. Every thought. It was all good intentions. But it doesn't come out that way, coming from pain and guilt and heartbreak and loss. Still, almost every thought, and certainly every artistic expression, song, poem, cardboard statue, flower arrangement, photo, forbidden notebook, chord progression, love letter...seas, oceans, horizons....lives unrequited, love in disguise, she is there. That butterfly ring meant something, butterfly. But I see how upsetting, frightening, distressing, exasperating and troubling it has become now.....gloomy, toxic and unhealthy. But please know, my feelings are pure. My heart is true. If you would only dare to ask, share, you'd know. But no. We let it go.

So, the countdown comes to a close. Happy spring. New beginning. Burn up the past and on with the new. It makes much more sense to live in the present tense. I'll post the ebook and maybe one last song when it's finished. But on March 26, my 48€ WordPress plan that allows me to post audio and YouTube videos will expire. That was one reason I used so many songs in these last posts. I probably shouldn't have, but it'll all be over soon, and when it's gone it's gone and the next thing you know you're 81 and missing it and wondering whatever happened to those songs, those poems, those books, those cups of tea, those looks into deep blue pools, all those yesterdays.

These poems are a countdown and a story of a life and a love and an ending and an awakening. A cycle of endings and new beginnings. A realization that we can look back now at "the last time". The last time I climbed a mountain...the last time I played ice hockey...the last time I carried my son in my arms...the last time I saw my family...the last time we danced....the last time we kissed...the last time. And with that comes the realization that everything will have a last time. A last class, a last bike ride, a last conversation, a last morning, a last visit to a favorite place, a last special occasion with the family all together, a last book day book, a last cup of tea, a last ham sandwich, a last message, a last phone call, a last visit, a last swim, a last flower, a last word, a last song, a last time you read this blog, a last time we stand in the same space and look into our eyes and our selves and feel our hearts and thoughts and what we shared and what we lost and know that it is the last time we will feel this way. Everything will have a last time. And when it is gone, it is gone. A last time I say your name...the last time I hear you say mine....a last time to watch you walk away while I fight the desire to run to you and take you in my arms and kiss you, one last time.

Until the next last time. 90, the ebook, coming soon!

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