I feel calm as the sea this morning, watching as it comes and goes. I am in between something and something else. I cannot say which only that there is an island. And I love it here. I tell myself to take note, to leave a marker like charting out the topography of a place, where the hills rise and dip and the river makes way in the winter.
The dog sleeps next to me in the leather chair and the waves rush and hush at the shoreline. It is unseasonably warm for December, and yesterday the winds blew so hard it was all we could talk about. There is no baby yet and the persimmons still dry in the window, hung by string and waiting for what comes next. I watch a girl sing on the internet and I cry while making coffee. I look up: why do swallows swoop?
Soon this year will end but another comes on its heels like waves, little different than the one before. I do not think we will be any different, and still we wait like passing through this year will make us new. Sometimes I look at photographs and wonder at the people I have been and who that girl was in Havana smiling behind a green bottled beer in the afternoon.
Sometimes on this island I worry I have nothing left to say, that I have said it all before. That my work is thin and my thighs are not, that being calm is the same as being boring, that I have no where left to go. I stare at the page until my eyes blur and the more I work the less I seem to get done. I ask a friend, is this what it means to stick with it? Is this what I meant when I said it was a writer’s life? To ask for words even when there are not any?
I try to narrow my focus the way I once did when I could not stop thinking about you. I try to get so close to the sentence that the rest of the piece does not exist, and when that does not work, I bake persimmon bread and watch the waves come in one by one. The truth is we forget who we were, we make peace with what we are, and we do not know anything about what comes next. If I lived a different life I would live on the sailboat that has sat on the horizon all morning. But, we do not live a different life and we have to drive ourselves home at the end of the night. We can pray to weather vanes and still the rain doesn’t come. We are only ever exactly where we are, and have only been where we were.
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars. Milk of the Moon, Rudha Charya, 2018