Monthly Archive: November 2014

#4 Reflections

It is about 4:00 am and  I reach for my bed lamp and pull the chain. The dark is lit. This is a holy time for me– the quiet, this secret hour. I wonder whether I’ll choose a book or a pen. These are my pleasurable choices.

I am me in this quiet, a woman reaching  for words. This world of words has sustained me since childhood. This is where I find myself – a woman looking for words, to read or to write. Sometimes I stumble on a truth so delicate and strong that I am astonished.

This time, this privacy is where I find me, usually with words though sometimes on an island walking the tide line, or heeling a boat highest into the wind. I find me there, too. Other times I find me in the words I share with students in the classroom, a privilege that carries responsibility, and other times I find myself in my grandsons’ eyes.

I don’t think I saw me clearly in my lovers’ or husbands’ eyes as some people do. The completeness I yearned for years, thinking it was in the joining of body and life with another person – that never happened for me. Maybe I expected too much.

It is on the page I can be most myself.

There – that is truth, as I know it now – finally. Perhaps that is why the search for someone to be with is over. No more searching, no more glancing up to see in the face of a stranger if he might complete me. There is relief in knowing the searching is over. I am not sad about it.

I know something about me I didn’t know or accept before. I try not to weigh myself down with expectations. I have my four o’clock hour where there is silence and words.

#3 Reflections – Typing

I am supposed to be preparing for a class and here I am pounding out letters instead.

“You will write, if you will write without thinking of the result in terms of a result, but think of the writing in terms of discovery, which is to say that creation must take place between pen and the paper, not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting.” Gertrude Stein on “creative recognition”

And so I write or type – no thought but the coming in and out of words and no continuous idea but the immediate typing of words that emerge from the keys. Isn’t it interesting – at least to me –that the piano has white and black keys and the typewriter has black and white keys as well…. perhaps they produce a music of sorts. I keep searching for definitions of words, short story, writing, memory, confusion, desolation, loneliness, longing, sorrow and ….I stopped typing because I was thinking.

This morning I was looking for a book of poetry – Jane Hirschfield’s Salt and Sugar– found it and then found myself sitting on my meditation mat reading neglected poems.

There are people I loved once who are lost to me. I did not tend love well enough – maybe there was too much envy, bitterness…something changed and those I loved were lost.

Another day.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside.” Maya Angelou

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside.”   Maya Angelou

Lying in bed I feel at home – reading – marking passages. I am drawn into other countries of the heart –to stories of love and loneliness. Sighing deeply, my sadness empties for a moment onto the page.

There is quick comfort. The words open my grief. The story enters my eyes and pulse, makes a connection, and returns to black letters on white paper.

It is Sunday morning – books on the shelf behind my pillow, reading glasses secure – books and papers piled beside the bed, some books having spent the night on the bed. I reach behind my head, pull out a book and begin reading (Starting Out in the Evening – Brian Morton). After an hour or so I pull another book – begin reading – the words enter my sadness again, ring loud , pierce what I guard so carefully.

Bed and books, the loose comfort of being known through words, touched by them.  It is years since anyone held me – skin to skin, lips meeting lips, fingers pulling and pushing and grasping for a fuller need – now words and story touch me in this Sunday morning bed.

Nothing was ever empty. What was gone left wounds – invisible and loud.