Friday, August 01, 2008


Feeling old and shaken, dispossessed. "They act as though no people had ever been conquered and dispossessed, before," wrote some busybody, "when in fact it's the daily experience of mankind. Get over it."

The play of cold water, wet stone, hooded sun: this is the end of all that exhausting march? To have to listen to revisionist histories, to hear myself maligned in the only matter in the world in which I'm blameless?

Yah. Get over it. Since when does any of us get to write his own story, interpret his own life? It doesn't mean what I say it does. It means what other people say it does.

In the quiet dawn I sat down on the front steps and watched the light turn, luff, and fill. Another day under weigh, working to windward under light sail. Rain comes walking down from the north: a little pattering drumbeat, a wandering, crossed rhythm.

Last Tuesday, Tele's little nine-day-old baby lay on the couch, sleeping. Every once in a while she would startle, as babies do, give an odd little croaking whuffle, and reach her hands out of her blanket, the fingers expanding and contracting like sea-fronds. Still asleep. I knelt there with a hand lightly on her wrappings, following the rise and fall of that tiny respiration.

"I massaged you when you were still in your Mom's tummy," I told her. But she was walking in dreams, her eyelids flickering faintly, her thoughts no more accessible now than they were then.

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