I’ve sat, reading the news, listening to poetry, and watched the sky become light. It’s not a red-and-orange sunrise. More, it’s a lightening of the grey.
The world has been disheveled. The winds have only just started dying down. At 5 o’clock, I could hear the hands of the sky rattling the siding, creaking the roof up and down on its bones. As I went to relieve myself, I saw the water had nearly all been drawn out of the toilet by the fingers of the wind creeping in through sewage vents. The sandbox top has been carried off a ways. Last Christmas’s tree may have danced across a field. I don’t know. I haven’t checked.
When my Grandma died, I wrote a piece on the flight home from the funeral. I can not write now.
My fingers have been stiff. For weeks, the writing sessions have gone from daily to semi-daily to maybe once-a-week.
And so I’m writing a friend an email. It’s an old trick. Pretend I have something to say, open up a blank message box, and start typing.
I’ve sat though, reading the news, looking for commentary or reflection that would spur a keening desire in me. The world is galloping madly away. And I am left behind on the trampled plain.
I listened to poetry. I was looking to fan a fire, reignite the coals that have drawn down to an occasional crackle. But there in the dark of a BBC recording was only a young man’s madness. The wind raged. The branches whipped against the windows. But still, inside my guts were the unphilosophical workings of my intestines and nothing else.
And so now the sky has lightened. There is a blanket of grey with streaks of white. Streaks of white showing the vastness above the mottled grey. The wind has died a little near the earth but up above the clouds still move like an endless multitude of refugees. Shifting and restless, ragged and moving with purpose to escape some great violence in the West.
The earth has been disheveled. I will step out, see if I lose my breath for a minute in the cold, put the sandbox cover back on, make sure the grill is still upright. The streaks of white have disappeared. Now it is all grey above, moving, moving.
from the collection of: d. heidel