At first the day had no discernible features to it, nothing to hold onto. A smooth rock face stretching up. I made my way through the dark to the coffee pot and back to the den with a blanket where I lit a candle, opened my phone and went back to the year 2016, to blog posts I’d published then. But it was hard listening to myself for too long, hard reading in the dark. The cat was there like some odd, furry spirit. And the caffeine slowly came on with the outdoor light, and I liked this time of day best for the quiet and for the dark, for the alone time and advancing light. It was during those times I made a practice to write, but for the past few months I’d slipped out, troubled by the thought I was wasting my time and should be doing more. Troubled worse by the winter funk we’d fallen into. And how depression is contagious, unavoidable, like a virus with its own brand of spikes. And the only way out was to get out, to trudge through the woods even when it rained, to pad my way through with my thumbs and my phone, putting down words, which is still writing even if it doesn’t feel that way. How we can slip into our own traps of such ingenious design. That my writing was good enough or not good enough, its own trap.
If yoga means union then why do I feel better when my body recedes from itself? We are over-evolved, our brains swell like balloons. We float off to some no-man’s land of our own making and mistake that for enlightenment. Today I saw a girl from my childhood, one of my first crushes, Isabelle Wilson. I saw the features of her face, the brown in her eyes. I saw inside of her and she held me there, I looked inside, she let me. I woke from that and sat in the dark with the bistro lights from the back yard the only light. I closed my eyes and tried to bring it up again but it was like a photocopy, not the same. How was it I could access that, from all those years?
I went back to the fields in Germany where we used to walk, retraced the way down to the lower road beneath the tunnel and past the school, by the pond where the frogs sing in spring, up to a path that runs by the river. And out onto the fields, I’ve been there through every season for the last 18 years. My memories run together to form a kind of painting of the mind, a short film.
My heart pangs with the scene of me going by the swimming pool and looking through the fence at the spot on the grass where we used to sit that first summer when the kids were really small. You can only see it in the winter when the leaves are down and everything looks bare. It’s hard to remember much but I hang on to every last bit.
And will they know how to wind the old clocks if I don’t show them? And what will they make of me from a distance? It is like sitting in a cave, making sketches on the wall. The days would have no discernible features if we didn’t, we mark them this way.