For the first time in many weeks, it seems, I have spent a day and its evening largely on my own (though with a gorgeous interlude spent with my beloved Lexingtonians). There was no question in my mind that this week I'd give a miss to Friday evening's family supper in hall; I am fond indeed of my community here, but what I wanted at the end of this day were the soar and shadow of evensong at King's, the silence of a solitary walk to the Wine Merchant to choose a gorgeous red to carry home in my purse and have with dinner, the purposefulness of a stop at a bookstore to pick up an order.
Today was a day of boundless feeling and slow, spreading realization. It's possible that I'm now writing in circles within the piece I'm working on; certainly, my forward momentum in terms of word count is starting to get swallowed because I'm converting draft notes rather than crafting entirely new language.
In my reflection in the darkened window, I can see how much more closely my new haircut follows the shape of my skull, the head shape my great-grandmother praised when she first met me, the shape she told my parents to preserve by rotating me in the cradle. This feels right: I too want to follow the shape of my skull more closely. I may be about to start paring away unnecessity, though I'm not quite sure what that would mean. For one thing, I think I may be getting fed up with all this resting. It might be time to be a little more rash, just a little faster. And yes, it does in fact say something about me that when I say a thing like that, I'm thinking of my work--that long love, the one who showed up and claimed me first. I have nothing if not a faithful heart.
And yet: coming home from town, I paused on the bridge to watch the water, sleek in the dark. Upstream, beyond Clare Bridge with its broken sphere (so many stories I haven't yet told you), I could see what looked like a moored punt lit with candles. I wanted so much for it to be so that I didn't even go to see what I had seen. I am crying out with my whole heart--hearts were calling and crying throughout tonight's slow, steady service, its form into which so much feeling can go, and from which so much feeling can spring. I am asking to be open to what is, to what might be coming. I am asking for openness actually to want what I want and to see it when it gets here. I am asking forgiveness for the fact that I want so much for it to involve something like the glossy purple silk evening dress I saw in a shop window on my way home. This is obviously not a paring down. This is a wish for the grandest extravagance, such outlandish happiness it can barely be described, joy so great that my cheeks hurt from grinning, and under all of it the ceaselessness of slow water making the sky over again in its image.
Tonight, three candles: one for those who have gone, one for the ones I love who are elsewhere, one for my own clarity's sake. It's taken me weeks to notice where the candles wait to be lit. Tonight, the unspecified prayer: please, let it. I'm admitting it, really trying to, even though I thought I'd admitted it long ago: I don't know how this works. So: my hands are up. My eyes are open. Please, let me.
And today: 620 words, all the sweeter because I was about to avoid them.