Thursday, May 28, 2015

Soon Now

I have not wanted to walk in the way of accumulation. But it is the way I fall into, being by nature wary and deliberate. I begin most days conscientiously studying whatever language I have in hand, reviewing flashcards -- thousands of flashcards, now -- and doggedly reading my twenty pages. And I set thresholds for buying and selling stocks, and watch the rise and fall of prices. I track my exercise and my domestic tasks. I am like those ants you see, carrying grains of sand to excavate tunnels and build hills. Any casual passer-by might demolish a life's work.

Venus and Jupiter hang a while in the west, these evenings, while the moon falls behind them. They shine over the garage roof. When we're all asleep, the raccoons step cautiously there, and pause a while to consider. They are as convinced as we are that the place belongs to them: the fact that the ground-apes nest in their basement doesn't trouble them. It's a good place to watch the stars, and a staging area for raiding nests or collecting the neighbor's chickenfeed. They gaze a while at Venus, through the tall bamboo, while raccoon-ambitions run through their minds. Soon they will achieve their hearts' desire. Soon life will be right. Soon they will be content.

I wash an apple, my thumbs skidding over the smooth skin. I think a lot about food, these days. The Fat Nutritionist put me on to Ellyn Satter. She has a little set-piece about normal eating, and it actually made me tear up, the other day. It sounded so lovely, so impossible. To feed oneself faithfully. It sounded like a fairy tale to me. 

I will find out where she has gone
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Such things, of course, are not for you and me. We were born for irritation and discontent; for fiddling with latches and broken zippers; for hearing dance music in the distance; for waking up to find ourselves old.

I lift the apple and breathe the faint scent of its skin. Soon. Soon now.

Soon, but what? That, they don't tell me.


Kristen Burkholder said...

How do you comment on something like this? I can't. Except just to say yes. This is so beautiful, so full of richness, humor, bliss and sadness. There, I've already said too much.

Lucy said...

Yes, what Kristen said.

And so we must content ourselves with our discontent.