Sunday, October 11, 2020

Hating the Deaths I Come To

I am not a crucifix nor shall I play on one for the pleasure of all these self-instantiated demons.

How in 1988 and 89 on Saturday nights I would go to the Fine Arts Center with coffee and play piano until two or three a.m., lonely and getting lonelier, yet delighted with what my fingers could do given keys.

Whatever was sacred became less so, while what we had filed under "mundane" began to slip its moorings, opening unto us a sense of the sea that had nothing to do with water and everything to do with depths.

Old poem structures that introduced me to sentences, which introduced me to an order which made possible - in time - remembrance of the Lord in Glory, and then the great fire in which even the Lord grows still and quiet.

Snow falling at dawn, melting on the dog's back, both of us standing still and quiet halfway down the slope, hearing the river trickle under ice about half a mile away.

Your beached whale, my broken heart.

We all have a husband who lives in our living the way our dads taught us about women and marriage, and we all have to leave him for the lover who allows us to be the woman the damaged world needs us all to be right now. 

He "got right with God," he "put aside his childish ways," he stopped drinking and a faraway look entered his living, which was neither a light nor a darkness, but an acquiescence of a kind that was forbidden.

Letters that came more or less regularly from England and Scotland, to which I replied faithfully, though only now - some thirty years later - do I see how the content and tenor of those replies are lost, as if what mattered even then was forgetting as fast as possible.

Yet what is fictitious after all?

Salad wraps with bacon.

Mist fills the meadow and the horses step through it gently but deliberately, like regents from long ago, who love the Kingdom over which they so briefly rule, will do nothing to harm it, and so model for us a specific form of Christian love.

My longing becomes mute - doesn't recognize the body in which it arises - and has no idea any more what it wants, as if forgetting were the point all along.

At 5 a.m., before anyone else is up, I check traps in the basement and attic, hating the deaths I come to, making it easier a little by no longer resisting the hate.

How eventually facing everything itself fades, becomes so familiar we forget it matters, and so drift into a peace that does not insist on naming itself or representing itself to others.

Once we established that we would not be unfaithful, we found yielding to the pressure of infidelity such a sweetness and delight that it no longer resembled anything forbidden.

The whole morning slipping into something out of the 1970s, the women who were sexual and beautiful before we understood was sexual meant, and so could only follow them at a distance, puzzled and dazed by the nature of a calling we would only later understand was desire.

Contentment of which I speak in you.

In the Greek icon - the background of which emphasizes gold filament and luminous roses (intimating a queen without knowing it) - Jesus open his arms and their width exceeds the height of his body.

Cry "amen" and put your heart into it, moan my name coming and let the world loose in us, dogs and shepherds and jazz songs and all.

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