Wednesday, December 22, 2021

My Loneliness is Nothing at All

I write hastily - shitty coffee, Jeremiah making breakfast, cat on the table. When we want to run, is it towards or away? Nontrivial questions that it turns out are trivial, my attention about as sharp as soft butter these days. And yet always "and yet."

Bittersweet encircling the second-oldest apple tree grows dull as temperatures climb in unseasonable ways. Conversations about ice-skating to pass the time, mind ranging - skating perhaps - over half a dozen memories of skating, each moving me further away from all frozen surfaces. How much of our childhood reflects our parents' experience of childhood! I prefer mittens to gloves unless I am working and even then.

We are bound to repetition in ways reach beyond our narrow sense of "self." I write "desert" - and it's the right word - and yet there are oceans hiding somewhere, happy to be noticed, not needing to be chosen for this or another poem. When Rilke felt his rhythms go slack he started sleeping on the floor, and James Joyce often sat in the backs of Catholic churches across Europe, thinking God knows what. What is the moon but clouds embracing?

Jogging past the village into darkness thinking about bears and trout and what it means to be hungry. Stars are not lonely yet sometimes when I watch them alone - the vast celestial landscape against which my loneliness is nothing at all - I wonder if maybe they're lonely. City traffic. Somebody mentions their dog in a conversation I'm not even part of and I start gasping and choking back sobs, have to leave the room, wander outside to where I think nobody will go and curse certain ghosts and allow certain others to come close enough for whatever thin comfort in my grief I know to offer. 

There is only ever truth and the winding roads of which it is comprised. "God is in all things" is a way to see it, but "there are no things" is better, and God is beyond the reach of language but - Wittgenstein notwithstanding - you and I shall speak of Him, and all things shall be made luminous thereby. Kisses at a late juncture in order to learn that time is beside the point. Damn but that manger filled up fast!

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