Sunday, September 18, 2016

September 18: Discomfort

Why wouldn't you try to sing the hymns? 

Friday, September 16, 2016

September 15: 3/4 of the year gone.

The older I get, the more I understand broken-heartedness to be the human condition.

To be alive is to endure heartbreak after heartbreak, some petty, some bone-deep, some clean, some shattering.  We are heartbroken by what we have done and by what we have left undone.  We break and are broken in turn.

I will never ski. 
The father I knew is gone. 
My son is growing up. 
There are no more rotary telephones. 

If I have broken your heart, I am sorry; you have probably broken mine. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 25: Pond

Sometimes a moment will open itself so vigorously, so incessantly and insistently, that for each of its sixty seconds you're both transfixed and engulfed, pinned inside: water, sun, water, wind, water, dirt, breath.

Friday, August 19, 2016

August 22: 35

There is something frightening about slithering down this slope of the demographic fulcrum.   Within the next ten years, if my family history foretells mine, I need to accomplish any work I want to get done that requires me to fire on all, or most, of my cylinders.  That I may choose to fritter those years away scrolling through Facebook, or fretting over my dirty countertops, or pushing work down the road until I have more time...

well, that's horrifying.  And that's life.  We waste our time: expertly, profligately, unceasingly. The wonder is when we don't. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

August 13: Dawn

Dawn is skulking in this morning, rain-flecked, dank, sun tucked up to its belly. 

I'm up for no reason.

Untrue: I'm up so I can be alone in the house to shuffle through my breakfast liturgy.  Paper, grape nuts, tea.  Holy, holy, holy. 

And I'm up so I can read.  It's Proust, this morning.  Out of pique.

Or wistfulness, or daring, affectation, curiosity, self-loathing.   Fortunately Proust is commodious.  I like that about him- the way each moment expands to accommodate galaxies, handbags, monsters, whole mornings in their cauls. 



Friday, August 12, 2016

August 12: Student

Went to the doctor today.  Routine, a wellness check, prescription refills.   The stuff I've been putting off.  It turns out my new practice is a teaching practice.  A student took my history, probed my health.  It was poignant, the extent to which the student was so raw, so present, so eager to connect.

As a therapist, I'd forgotten what that feels like.  To have served so few people, looked into so few eyes, that you can still see each person in three dimensions, a living, breathing being instead of a type, a face as opposed to a constellation of obligations.

Then the years set in, and you become like the doctor: walking in late, reading your patient's name off the chart, glancing up, slotting her: "young and healthy."

Thursday, August 11, 2016

August 11: Charleston

The memory is apropos of nothing, but nevertheless it envelops me, shakes me, is gone: a cloud in an airplane's path.

I'm in downtown Charleston West Virginia, afire with adrenaline, the only guest in a rattling, musty B&B.  Within the year, it will close,  its owners tired of of the work.  It's 6:00 PM, late July, and the sky plays its hand: light, light light.   I've levered myself out of the car, every muscle seizing.  I have driven alone for hours and hours on the Interstate, a thing that was, to me, a ribbon of fear.  I have left my home state behind, for good.

My car is full of my things.  At that time, they seem to me to pin me down.  I have burdens, responsibilities, promises, a cheese grater and a printer.  I need to find dinner somewhere in this lazy maze of river-bound streets, and I need to bring in my instruments from the car -but for a moment I lie flat on the bed and stare at the sky.  I am light, light, light, though I do not know it.