Here you go. A frog that I caught in the Huron River some months ago. A couple weeks ago I thought we might hear an early arrival of the Spring Peepers who reside in the DEQ protected wetland behind Wit’s End. They come precisely with the second heavy Spring rain when the temperatures rise above 48 degrees Fahrenheit. We had one such rain, but now we are locked hard in the grips of a February freeze with the current temperature sitting steady at 21 degrees.
Similarly, my muse has gone dormant. "Like a frog, the aphorist waits for something to fly by that he can catch with his tongue." Nada. Did I mention that I work? I know, you know my stock and trade is psychotherapist. For almost 30 years. I don’t write very much about that at all, even though I love my work. Tonight I’ll be giving a talk to an auditorium full of elementary school parents. On parenting. I’m fairly adept at advising other people about parenting their children, but like the plumber, things can get leaky around home. (Truth be told, my children are- knock wood- in stellar condition at the moment. Shhh.) So these past few days I’ve been busy working on this talk, entitled, "Who’s Raising Your Children?" The subtitle is something rude, like "not you, much as you would like to think you are." But that’s true: as parents, unless we are the exception to the rule (and I am acquainted with some notable exceptions) we spend very little time indeed at that task. Would you like some specifics? Statistics? Illustrations? Say the word and I’ll elaborate and give you some feedback from the audience tomorrow. I hate public speaking.
By the by, "A frog in love would not be enchanted to learn that her beloved had turned into Prince Charming." (Mason Cooley) Do you ever go through one of those periods where you are less than enchanted with your beloved? Oh, be honest now. Yes, yes, they’re the best thing since Wonder Bread and you list off all their lovely attributes and virtues but aren’t there periods when you would just as soon be communing with a frog down by the river? Or with Hugh Laurie? Right. And then what do you do? In my experience, virtually always, waiting quietly helps.
So, I’m waiting for something pithy, waiting to want the company of my beloved, waiting for that second warm rain.
In the meantime, I offer you this tiny frog.
What a wonderful bird the frog are—
When he stand he sit almost;
When he hop, he fly almost.
He ain’t got no sense hardly;
He ain’t got no tail hardly either.
When he sit, he sit on what he ain’t got almost. (anonymous. who would want to lay claim to this drivel?)
Or do you prefer this?
Frog has no nerves.
Frog is as old as a cockroach.
Frog is my father’s genitals.
Frog is a malformed doorknob.
Frog is a soft bag of green.
I think that the day the fine American poet, Anne Sexton wrote this, her muse was also out to lunch.