Sunday, January 13, 2008


One thing at a time; one thing at a time. The miracle is that she still floats at all.

And I have time. For once in my life, I have time. The very worst thing I could do is stuff it so tight with expectation that I didn't realize I had it till it was gone. I can take this time, this morning time, reflect, grieve a little, think a little.

"This season of repair," I wrote, elsewhere.

I love the accounts, in nautical fiction, of refitting. Limping to an unknown harbor in an uninabited island on the far side of the world, and working to get every sheet and halyard rerove, the fished yards made whole, the shot-holes re-planked, sails renewed or replaced, guns resettled on remade trunnions, shot freshly chipped and new cartridges sewn, stove barrels operated on or cannibalized; a time out from war, everybody laboring to restore their floating world, all that knowledge and skill being put to use, in an in-between time. a bardo, a truce, an interstice.

We make too little of the in-between times, I think. The fact that our culture has forgotten how to grieve is one indication of it: one's lover is hardly a week in his or her grave (or new apartment), and our friends are all urging us to get out and date and forget about it. It's seldom good advice.

There is blue sky today, for the first time in what seems weeks. A pale blue and very distant heaven. There is a gentleness in how people are talking in the cafe today, as though we had all been through a very dark time, and come out the other side. Which we have.

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