3,000 words to go.

I feel like my brain is fried and I will never write again – probably because I’ve been trying to chug out the last words for this foolish thing before vacation.  Yep, that means I spewed out 7,000 words today.  Ugh.

Some of the work though, is still good.  A sample:

Nightmares.  I see a large fat child that eats its still-live victims, that grows red and horned when backs are turned.  A glossy and reflective grand piano chases me, stomping and jangling keys discordantly.  I hear a mewling cry and it is the sound of my heart clawing its way up out of my chest and out through my throat and mouth, a glistening gory red.  Two stoned kids poke at a derelict hat moves oddly in the breeze and a squirrel leaps from it, gnawing away at their faces.  I am pushed over the edge of a cliff and fall and fall and fall, just waiting for the last and final crack.
After some time, I wake.  I am in a white, anesthetized room.  My sister is there, reading to me – Le Trois Mousquetaires.  I breathe the deep oxygenating breaths of freedom.
“What happened?”  I ask her who has stopped reading.  “Tell me everything.”
She adjusted herself more comfortably in the seat, closing her book.  “There isn’t much to tell.  I got here.  You were insensible and losing blood, and your doctor decided to go forward with some procedure she’d wanted you to consider.  I OKed it after the fact, after i got here.  You could have died.  peter did not know what to do.”  She looked at me severely, knowing my heart.  “He’s been very kind.  He’s a good man.”
“You told him, didn’t you?”
“Yes.  He didn’t know there had ever been a danger for you, didn’t know there were heavy risks for you to carry an infant to term.”  She considers me for a moment.  “You didn’t do it on purpose, did you?”
“Do what?”
“Get pregnant.”
“No.  No, I would’ve liked a child, but you know how committed I’ve been to adoption for some time.”
“Do you think it would’ve helped you, if that had been a possibility for you earlier?”
How could I have ever given up a piece of my own soul willingly?  I shook my head.  “No, I think it was the right choice at the time.  I dealt with what happened…better.”  I looked away from myself, trying to find some point in the room that was not bright and stark.  “With Peter, things have always been a little unusual.  I’ve taken risks I normally wouldn’t.  I think I love him.  No – I know I’m in love with him, still.  All the risks seemed like good ones, euphoric and wonderful ones.”
“Until now.”
“Yes.  Until now.”

It is typical for me (perhaps for most of us) to trust in my heart more than my reason.  I like to think that this is due to kindness, rather than self-interest, though there are some that would tell you no person acts other than for their own benefit.  I would argue that those who say so are the ones who are most unhappy, probably because the believe this.  Still, I am aware that I often act in illogical, unreasonable ways and a I do feel some guilt for this.  I often wonder if my best intentions hurt more than they help.  We move among each other, so many ripples in a pond, and even the greatest or deepest of us has little perspective on how wee affect the world around us.  I wonder if the things I do can have any meaning, or if they are gestures helplessly lost in the oncoming waves.
Peter has stayed with me in the hospital when my sister needs a break.  I have no idea how he’s explained away his odd absences from work, and I’m not sure I would want to hear the explanations.  He does not try to talk to me, but sits in silence reading.  Occasionally he’ll share something from what he reads.
“Hey Sam, listen to this.”  He was reading Kathi Appelt’s The Underneath.  “‘Purring is not so different from praying. To a tree, a cat’s purr is one of the purest of all prayers, for in it lies a whole mixture of gratitude and longing, the twin ingredients of every prayer.'”
Otherwise he lets me sit in silence, for which I am grateful.  No explanations or discussions, no thoughts or reflections or moral directives, no inner jihads – I am on pause.  I take each day like a crystal fruit, beautiful, unchanging, sharp, and completely inedible.
Eventually my mind must return to the land of the living, must begin to revolve around what has happened to me, and what I still have to do.  But for now, I am content to wait.  I will need time, and for now at least the bodily scars can be allowed to heal.

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A few words…

It is odd to wake up to the sound of rain at the end of November.  It is odd at any time of the year to wake up to rain, the gloom of unvaried cloud cover, and the persistent annoyance of an early alarm and think, ‘At last!  A beautiful, wonderful, WARM day.’  But so I did, just this morning.  I do not mind the rain, and I hate the cold that glares down at us despite the sun when the sky clears.  It makes me feel a certain kind of joy, a certain loose, floating satisfaction that has nothing to do with the absence of need or desire.  I want many things and still need a few, and yet I am joyful, thankful, truly alive.  I cannot describe it as I want – I must rely on the words of others:

“Sometimes as I am falling asleep in a dark, quiet room I have for a moment a great and treasurable illusion of the past….We are inside, the two of us, in shelter, at rest, at the center of all things.  Outside, as always, lies the great darkness, the cold, death’s solitude.  In such fortunate moments as I fall asleep I know beyond doubt what the real center of my own life is, that time which is past and lost and yet is permanent, the enduring moment, the heart of warmth.  I am not trying to say I was happy….I certainly wasn’t happy.  Happiness has to do reason, and only reason earns it.  What i was given was the thing you can’t earn, and can’t keep, and often don’t even recognize at the time; I mean joy.”

– Ursula K Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

It sounded like dinosaurs were walking.

I love the descriptive techniques of children.  They help us remember to see in ways we’ve forgotten, to approach the world with wonder, to allow our minds to leap across improbabilities as easily as we step across a puddle.  Life becomes simple: problems become places to experiment, rather than mourn.  Crops drying out?  Rain dance.  Flight delayed?  Ride the unicorn.

In that spirit, I give you a meteor.  Its sound may not quite be like the Giants of mythology or Paul Bunyan wrassling with his ox, but it is something that can be imagined as powerful.  Its light may not have taken the world, but it has illuminated something, a brief, intense flare of great beauty.  Perhaps it will spark some of that childlike wonder in you.