Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The first full sleep after many broken nights. I woke for an hour, and watched the moon climb carefully, twig by twig, over the maple tree. But I slept again. Diminished as I am, a small knot of mammalian warmth in that immensity of cold November air.

The white, deaf, dull-witted cat that fled from our neighbor's when her baby grew into a toddler old enough to catch it, and took up residence in our basement, is moving very slowly. Something bit him under the ear a couple days ago. The abscess burst last nights, and a trail of bloody lymph soaked his white neck, and spotted our quilt. He's skin and bones, under that white winter coat, and it seems impossible that he should live much longer.

The waning year. Already Christmas zealots have put up their lights. More is always better. Why just a Christmas day? Why not a Christmas month? That fatal American reasoning. Oh yes. I am every inch an American.

In the light fog, this morning, everything is soft, gentle, and sad. Tree trunks and telephone poles glow faintly through the shadows of leaf and shrub. Cars wash by on Sandy Boulevard, making a sound very like the sea; the tide of people going to work.

Gold is in my mind this morning: soft gold worked in intricate Celtic designs. I feel not just old, but ancient: something half-remembered from a medieval ballad, or the enigmatic mention of a lost back-story in an epic. A scholar comes upon a list of names in a language attested nowhere else, and he murmurs them over to himself, obscurely moved. I feel like one of those names: a last, faded glyph. A fragment of lost meaning.

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