It's that time of the year when the time of day is measured by determining which is freshest on the stack of papers around me: coffee rings or wine rings? Coffee rings slowly brown, losing any sweet trace of sugar and cream, instead becoming more like a blood stain on a white t-shirt you find in the laundry hamper two weeks after the bloodletting. Wine rings, dusty scarlet in color, circle like snails around a folder, intermixing occasionally with the coffee rings as if together they want to make one big set of Olympic-style rings. They pretend to mark a triumph that is never certain.

Sometimes the coffee ring comes back over the wine ring, weaker and lighter, just barely traced onto the edge of a paper (a sleepy hand surely set the cup so poorly there, and pushed it farther away with a nudge); and then the little splashes of wine dribbled in a careless gesture of combustible thought, but now laying there so like erstwhile punctuation marks.

And all of this, this process, this thinking, intermingled with all this feeling (for lately, I have been feeling, and thinking-feeling, the curse, so acute) reminded me of this one Rumi poem. What are all my subtle arguments good for, anyway, I wonder, except to make some sloppy yet intricate patchwork rings around a bunch of papers and folders, things that come and go, thoughts that come and go and disintegrate? But so much falling have I done, do you know what I mean? I was made to fall. So many exquisite sky circles, the invisible sad sister of the snow angel, whose pedestrian brothers, the coffee ring and wine ring, keep me company.....

Anyway, here's the poem:

The way of love is not
a subtle argument.
The door there
is devastation.
Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling,
they're given wings.

- Rumi