Thursday, February 20, 2014

This Sad But Beautiful Interregnum

In the morning I wake up and my teacher is back, sitting quietly on the floor in the corner, a yellow scarf tucked about her neck. "Good morning," she says. Her voice as always sounds like paper crinkling when you drop it on embers. I kneel beside her instead of walking and we watch the dog's dreams float slowly towards the window. They are like tendrils of violet smoke trending to gold.

There are things that need to be done and it is time now to do them, she says. As always I only want to know what she requires. In whatever space I share with her there is never any room for argument. She tells me to practice seeking less pleasure externally, especially with respect to food, and to simplify - again, even more - my relationships. "What attention you don't give God, God cannot give you," she says in the hallway before she leaves, and I stand there quietly crying after, smell of yucca rising around me.

Later I go to the co-op, parking in the far corner of the lot so that I can enjoy the sun and the melting snow and also because I don't feel like driving any more, even a hundred yards. Two women start shopping around the same time I do and we sort of track one another through the store. One buys granola while I stock up on spicy pepitas, another lingers at the yogurt, studying the labels for each brand, while I fumble through the nut butters. The first one keeps meeting my eyes in what I perceive is a kind of dare but the other keeps to herself after a first friendly smile and that makes more sense as a spiritual practice so I accept it as the morning's lesson. By the time I stop at Tim's (on the way home) for chicken feed - pellets, crumbles and cracked corn - too many hours of no sleep begin catching up with me and the car slows to where I might as well be walking and I roll the window down and practice the two note spring song of chickadees, which the kids love because the chickadees answer which nobody believes can happen until they're out in the woods with me and it does happen and then they are amazed, which I understand, because it is - like so much else in this sad but beautiful interregnum - amazing.

Did I write that last stanza or did Jesus have a point to make? I drift into early evening on raw garlic and ginger and spoonfuls of bee pollen and writing somewhat dizzily, the sentences spilling from me like pine cones. I keep waiting for her to say "stop writing" but she doesn't, not yet anyway, and in fact all her suggestions seem bent on clearing space for even more writing. What do I know? I fold the blanket around my chilly toes and write this sentence and then another which - under the laws of this project which I did not make but only gave assent to, years before I knew what saying yes meant - you cannot read but may infer, given all that has gone before between us.

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