Over the course of the weekend, I've been thinking about rebirth and restarting. My seemingly incessant sleeping yesterday carried on into the middle of today: eight hours of sleep on the couch, an hour of wakefulness in bed, three more hours of sleep in bed. And then I finally seemed awake again. Enough of my mystery malaise--otherwise known as the common cold, I think--remained that I begged off on the things that would have forced me to leave the house today and have spent the afternoon and evening padding about in my slippers, finishing some reading, feeling more rested and present than I have for a long time. In the end, then, this weekend seems to have become an occasion for rebuilding resources I have given myself no way of replenishing of late.
Tomorrow, I will start early, will spend the morning hours watching images swimming into being as I swish paper through chemicals. Tomorrow, I will not be moved from my determinations. I will flex my fingers--which by then will smell like stop bath and fix--and will do my best with the materials at my disposal. I will suffer no fools lightly. These things require deliberation and decision. When tomorrow dawns, they'll also require a certain level of sternness with myself, and a capacity to allow in joys that I can't see coming yet.
There's a reason Wendell Berry's "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" concludes with an exhortation: "Practice resurrection." Resurrection isn't a one-time deal. It's a rising again every single day, a reopening of eyes that (for those of us who are lucky enough to sleep well) have closed and quieted another day's doings. It's a putting one foot after the other back down on the floor, a readying for what is expected and for what cannot be foreseen. And it can be practiced. It must be.
Tomorrow, I will print my prairie, now lying scorched back for growing. Tomorrow, I will print the swelling belly of my friend. Tomorrow, I will do my best to make sense of how others have made books out of their grief. Tomorrow, that is, I will keep on with the work I've been granted. There will be no daunting.