Wednesday, December 3, 2014

For Once I Can't Answer

In December the moon is further North than one expects; I have to turn and look over my shoulder to see it. "There it is," I say to the dog, who is already across the road, nose to the ground, tracking something - skunk probably, maybe another dog - through the yet-snowy field, and doesn't listen. And isn't that how it goes? Elaborate metaphors serve primarily themselves and secondarily their makers, hence my continued interest in our shared liberation from texts that are complicated only because simplicity scared the hell out of the author. You know who you are. Chrisoula comes in around midnight to ask between my hacks and sniffles if I need anything, and I can't answer - for once I can't answer - because what is there to say except I'm always scared when I'm sick? Weakness of any kind has always frightened me, owing to an early (and regrettably enduring) lesson that who cannot bear suffering is not beloved of God. How many Golgothas must we pass on the way to grace? On the other hand, raw garlic, lots of water with cider vinegar and lemon, boiled chicken and broth, the kids coming in with poems and pictures . . . Being is simple - the simplest thing there is really - and yet by virtue of thought we have removed ourselves from it, a sleight-of-mind that brings us no end of grief. Insomnia is in part a consequence of how happy any night makes me - the stars and the moon, the silence, the owls and coyotes who make the silence deeper. What can you say in those moments but "me too?" I write not because there is anything to say - there isn't really - but because when I don't it's too much slippage outside whatever yes composes joy. I'm saying tired but not too tired. I'm saying scared but getting less so all the time.


  1. "Being is simple .... and yet but by virtue of thought we have removed ourselves from it, a sleight-of-mind that brings us no end of grief." How true.

    I love your description of the happiness and silence of night, and the need for writing even though there is nothing to say.

    I'm glad you are getting less scared, and I hope you are soon feeling well again.