Friday, December 3, 2021

Long Ago Another Listened to Distant Bells

Twenty sentences again. 

The body stands by the window and watches snow flakes drift through sunlit air, while the mind ranges on cosmic plains, where no horse is blind, no daughter weeps and no son wonders where his father has gone. 

On Monday mornings I smear a few drops of Pogostemon Cablin on the head of each ceramic and marble elephant, remembering literally the specific joy the aroma bestows, discovered during a brief window in my early twenties when it seemed I might escape certain demons (who are not escapable but can be healed). 

And did you, in the end, gain a prism?

"Like Indra's Net," she says, and I shrug and smile, mostly beyond the ability to make distinctions of the sort I am being invited here to make.

So much given away - old bikes, guns, jackets, bibles, cups and poems.

We cross the street to reach the post office, remembering the story of the rooster who hovered on its porch roof, howling at every visitor, until one day he mysteriously disappeared.

Tradition is you have no choice - if you have a choice, then it is culture, yes?

Shotgun casings again.

Walking up Main Street in the direction of darkness, passing houses lit up with Christmas lights, the blend of garish and holy and commercial oddly pleasing, as if I am not separate from that which I spent a lifetime condemning.

One of these days it really will be the last morning ever.

Wracked by insomnia, I stay in bed rather than wake and walk, and listen to Chrisoula breathe, which is the whole cosmos breathing, breathing me even, and my body - that tired host, that cartoon nightmare - shivers happily at in the gathering light of departure.

Imagine being made of the salt of the tears of all the ones who had ever wept, and then walking a long time - decades, centuries perhaps - until you find a body of water to gently enter and dissolve in.

Solving problems again for the one that needs me to be a problem.

At night geese pass overhead, lost in the misty darkness of mid-November, no different than the one who listens to their soft shared murmuring, as long ago another listened to distant bells and remembered the Lord and was glad. 

Not fitting in, that old confusion again, arising in love and desiring justice, but going sideways in the world, itself inadequate against the riptides of fear.

Waking late and skipping running, instead writing the day's writing, gulping coffee in the back room, only leaving when the blind horse cries out for hay.

Gentle kisses, crying a little, holding one another in the shadowy stairwell faintly lit by the neighbor's red and blue Christmas lights.

Knowing Thérèse and the terrible darkness she willingly faced, braver in her way than even Emily Dickinson.

Now and then I wonder what the rules are for this particular writing project, and mostly there aren't any, or any that really need to be obeyed so much as noticed, waved at, as if the point were just to be happy and to learn that happiness is possible, even without the dread supervision. 

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