October Still Life
I’ve decided to shuck hope from expectation and desire from need: whittling down to reality without the silliness of the giddiness of anticipation. Diminish so as to smile from understanding rather than from the falseness of thinking tomorrow won’t be today re-lived.
There are many ways to be, but there are few ways to acknowledge wisdom: you rail against and continually cry from pain until you are prepared to live within its shadow, for wisdom is nothing if not the grayness of accumulated/condensed communal tidings to which one, searingly (in the way that one gasps at the dullness of a once sought-after indulgence), succumbs. There have been too many yesterdays that are today and will be tomorrow to attempt to live beyond the border of what is.
The pattern of days is a wave that carries out and in, ending where it began, but continually aerated and absorbed by existence. The same, always and never. Within each cycle of breath there is movement and there is cessation, there is this.
Standing in the wave, being the wave, invites fragility if you anticipate a divergence in the pattern. There will be none. It is, and what is cannot be what has not been. So simple. So solid.
Absorbing this reality is a freedom more than a deadening. Why hope within the ever-expanding disappointment that no day will differ from another when you can watch the sun rise and set on its puppet show trajectory. The same trajectory that has brought me here, to this moment in October when I acknowledge that to be this woman is not against any tide, but the tide itself. I have been afloat, continually, on my rightful wave, but only now do I realize how it comforts. I have defied nothing. I have always been here, within my coiled cycle.
The pattering of Poops’ nails against the black hardwood floor keeps me in the now as would a meditation session in the middle of a desert. We are now. He in his search for crumbs to eat, and me as I suppress my search for crumbs, those to eat and those that lead to a meandering contemplation, so I can stay nowed.
It is easier than I thought it would be to live this gray day. To let the living of it be the purpose. Has it always been this simple to live a day, a life, a moment?
Cars drive past on the wet road. From my fixed point in my apartment, they are a blur of movement and purpose, yet they do not disturb this stillness. The quietness that I have attempted to suppress, a cycle within the cycle of my life, wishing it were alien, is, finally, admittedly, that which defines me. How grateful can a person be to settle into her current with eyes closed and hands open.
There are people I love. There are things I care about. I thought that they defined me, but as I pare down into myself, I realize that there is a core from which I emanate, that is me, purely. I do not need to prove that I exist by doing, I am.
There is the sound of violins and the gentle chill of a wet autumn afternoon. There are the things I read today, in the gossip column and in the history column, and the word games I am in the midst of playing. There is the drenched yellow chrysanthemum on the balcony. There are the texts that I receive and send. There is the twice reheated coffee I just finished. This is who I am.