Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Derivative Way of Heaven

When you are sad and lonesome - when I perceive it so from the great divisive distance - I want to tell you we are neither alone nor separate but to do so would - paradoxically - only confirm the illusory isolation. Muscular geese beat ash-colored wings, passing overhead at dawn and dusk, and one thinks as always of the silvery wake they leave when landing in or taking off from the pond. In the morning you can finds rabbit track near the daffodils and picture them eyeballing the yellow moon which last night was a perfect circle, or so it seemed while walking south through the fields home. I remember years ago walking in the forest - tracking a moose well beyond the familiar landscape - and came to a stop realizing I stood at that moment in the same space the moose had occupied hours earlier. "We are all connected" presumes the fundamental divide, so it's better say "there is no we" but that's harder to hold in mind, isn't it? When you are lonely and frightened and I perceive it so after so many decades and thousands of miles I want to embrace you even though to do so would be to violate the Holy Compact. She pads up and down the hall in slippers, a whispery sound, that neither quite ends nor begins without her prior consent. Blue skies beg flames and we divulge accordingly. My solitude is not perfect but nor I am unhappy in its muddled bounds. The running tally of goldfinches now in triple digits and one wonders - not for the last time surely - what the real value of any number is. The new call is to engage and participate and yet doing so begs a carapace, as if I am still that wounded child hiding in a barn wondering why so many blows fall and when the next is coming. She pulls close, she withdraws, but she is always within. The trail collapses - frosty caverns yielding to pressure - and my feet grow muddy and cold. I long to sleep - to sleep well - and yet insist on conflating spirituality with those hours that make sleep just about impossible. Well, we are all in motion, all following the proverbial goose, all settling as best we can the relevant scribbled maps. A coniferous divide to the west, and literary toll bridges and - critically - memories of a dead horse. When I want to hold you I do and it works, it does, but you have to trust yourself first. She wakes me a little after midnight, blankets opening to let in tuffets of cold, against which our bodies flare in the derivative way of Heaven recollecting itself. One reaches a place where there is nothing left but to accept the fundamental uselessness of language and go on without it. A little rain falls, a light breeze delivers clouds into the aging moonlight, and we rise in the early hours to write and pray and sing the way we do in the presence of the only love we need.

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