Thursday, January 01, 2009


Dark wet morning: cold rain, gray sky, leafless trees. In a subdued mood. Thinking of those I used to know, and no longer do. Thinking of how, at the grave age of fifty, I still can't visit my parents without feeling that I'm in danger of suffocating in alien expectations, in danger of my perceptions being overridden by theirs, in danger of losing my self and my way. It's none of their doing -- they can't help having their own perceptions of the world and of me, no more or less accurate than anyone's perceptions of anything, and they are very kind. But I limp away from the holidays feeling obscurely violated and lonely, at once overexposed and unseen.

And so. Hardly in the resolution-making frame of mind. More inclined to take to the hills, and find some hole under the soft dry duff in which to hide and heal up.

I'm glad of the rain and the thick drapery of clouds. I don't feel I could meet the stars on equal terms, just now.

I was so grateful to have a massage scheduled when I got home, which I did by the glow of a gas fire and christmas tree lights. A new life inside a pregnant belly. (Much is expected, little one: but you'll find your way, as we all do. And soon you'll be expecting things yourself, and you'll fondly believe these expectations are your own.)

It anchors me as few other things can, laying hands on a full abdomen, and feeling the baby move. The dream time, the long dark warmth, the mother's heartbeat like the constant sound of surf on a beach. Distant sounds. Shifts and turns. Soft walls to push against.

Maybe that's the real life, and this interregnum of separate personhood is only a necessary adjunct, an elaborate, farfetched way for the fully human dyads to blossom. We wouldn't be the only living things to flower only once in a generation.

No doubt the maple helicopters think they are starting a brave new life when they fall from the tree, whirling and swooping in the wind, and respond with horror when the flight ends and they're buried and trodden underground. They must wonder what it all was for. No way to tell them.

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