Be present with your want of a Deity and you shall be present with the Deity. Thomas Traherne
Sometimes I lose you. Say you are a puppy and I’ve left the door ajar. Or I’m due someplace and can’t remember where. In my sticky-uppy hair and ripped work shirt, I ransack the place to find my datebook. Gone. Or I’ve dropped my glasses and I’m crawling on all fours to swab the floor with outstretched hands. I mop blindly, my heart stuttering with fear.
Don’t tell me you are not a puppy. I know. You’re not some destination. But I want to tell you what it’s like to hunt, although the words are clumsy. Vapor. What it comes to: You are the sky, the boat, the oars, the water. You are the soul that longs to row and you’re the rower.
the morning when she finds the tomb empty leaps from her the way the first spry geyser sprang from the Titanic. She bangs her knee and ducks to look again. Her adviser, John, warned her it was dangerous to come. Holed up behind locked doors, the gang of guys who claimed to love him. She runs her thumb across the ledge where his dead body lies.
Or rather doesn’t. Her heart’s a cypress forming a final growth ring, final grief: his body gone, his lithe hand, the small scar from the sharp chisel. To what can she say yes? Who is she now? Where to put belief? Her cry gashes the fragile morning air.
On the gallery wall in Paris you see a splendid life-size thigh, how it’s tapering to a calf and pointed toe. It’s a Degas ballerina who pulls light on like a stocking.
The ornate gold frame says, Look at this. You’re here alone, so why not stay, go down to the very root of light, practice patience? Sinking in, you linger all afternoon.
On the subway home, you see and praise legs. Bare. In jeans. Thin or superbly plump. Recall your lion-footed table. Praise this leg of your trip, learning to see. Joy trumps itself: Allegro, legume. The wonder: your own tibia! The miracle: your own leg to stand on!