why do i write in lower case, i wonder

Memory at any point in one’s life is sketchy. Just ask any of our family about D#2’s “memories” of when we put the house up for sale. Or about her recipe for cream of broccoli soup, but that’s another matter completely.

But I can say at T minus 7 months to 60 that my memory is sketchier than ever for real now.

So I do remember at some point during my teenage years moving to lower case lettering exclusively. Even for some term papers, now that I’m thinking.

Okay, it was a journal that I was keeping that was part of the assignment, so that made sense. I was smart enough to follow the rules, even in the wild times that I was living when all rules were begging to be broken.

So was it reading Ferlinghetti? Was it reading e.e. cummings?

Or was it archy and mehitabel?

I recall this quandary because I came across mention of said A&H yesterday while looking up something else, which I’ll get to later, perhaps.

If you’re not familiar with archy and mehitabel, then you can look here for a bit. Now that I relook, I realize how unable I was to understand its brilliance at that age. And I have no recollection of how I came across the book, either. But I definitely loved it.

Here’s a blink of the poem, found here.

i know that i am bound
for a journey down the sound
in the midst of a refuse mound
but wotthehell wotthehell
oh i should worry and fret
death and i will coquette
there s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai

Okay it was probably all of the above.

You perhaps have noticed that I am using more or less proper capitalization in this post, so what am I talking about? When I write things out by hand. Like to-do lists, menus.

and journal entries.

I also still sign my name in lower case, but it’s gotten to that point that it’s illegible enough that no one would know the difference.

Not like my mother whose penmanship was flawless. Until it wasn’t.

And why did I come across this train of thought?

In honor of Mothers Day, I saw this poem in a few places wishing us a happy one. I thought it wonderfully odd for such a day, but perhaps more meaningful than other garbage trifles that get offered up.

Here’s the poem from one of the earliest places (2002) I found– a website for cruise addicts. (!)

Dust If You Must

Dust if you must but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed
Ponder the difference between want and need.

Dust if you must but there’s not much time
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb
Music to hear and books to read
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must but the world’s out here
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain
This day will come around again.

Dust if you must but bear in mind
Old age will come and it’s not kind
And when you go and go you must
You, yourself, will make more dust.

Supposedly a woman named Rose Milligan wrote this. I can’t find anything else about her except a few obituaries.

I guess that’s fitting.


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