Sunday, June 27, 2010

Snakes Could Be Seen, Patiently Creeping

Saint Francis in the grotto, editing. Lambs pick slowly through the countryside, buttercups and daisies brushing their soft shoulders. Shepherds lean on hand hewn staffs and gaze into the blurred-by-summer distance. From somewhere comes the high plaintive sound of water, like children singing hymns while they wash their clothes. Dreams then of milk, a ceramic bowl of figs, a woman studying scrolls.

Or Saint Peter of Damaskos composing The Seven Forms of Bodily Discipline. "The fathers fled from the world as a hindrance to perfection; and not only from the world but also from their own will for the same reason." Red dust, scent of oregano. All night by the window with a only a rustling candle in love with the sound of one's voice. When the sun rose, snakes could be seen patiently creeping onto the broad flat stones that warm their blood.

We ate chocolate mousse twice yesterday and then lemon cream cheese cake, both after working in the gardens, the harvest held in scratched hands included scallions and spinach soiled with mud. We ate boiled chicken and fried zucchini and salted cucumber, all of it washed it down with tea. Later, walking past the cemetery at dusk, we talked about the foolishness of commerce, apparently without irony. Attended as always by angels, but left unhindered. It has to be that way he wrote, believing he had no other choice.

Wondering too about the holes in my shoes, which have always been important testimony, yet also a source of pride. Where is my red sequin shirt when I most want or need it? Warm milk with a drop of honey before bed, thirty minutes of stories, then simply the blessed quiet of gazing out the window at so many unnamed stars passing back and forth in the Maple trees. Something is clearly missing else why this perennial yearning but what? I woke to the dogs groveling for a walk, wrote this - where was it before here - , didn't want it - want what - to end.

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