28 September 2006

Hungry like you.

The sea rises up in the most unexpected places—the salt in your eyes and in your blood—the motion beneath everything, the commotion in your hollowed hand and ear, wallpapering the silence, rhythmic and haunting.

Swaying in the boughs of a walnut tree, pressed against the sky with the green paper leaves, you might think you hear the ocean in the tree tops, you might think you see the waves in the grass.

Spreading blankets on lawns and beaches to watch the cold slide of stars across a black sky. Drinking fluid night through the open windows of a train, shaking along the tracks, hearing a sound in all the vibration, reaching across all the red rooftops and grey bridges, in the middle of the land, on the top of a hill, the voice of that reaches your ears, hungry like the grinding of the surf over stones

Hungry like you.

You know that this is dangerous--waking up like the morning after a fever broke--trying your limbs and finding soundness instead of ache.

You know that real boldness is damn dangerous. Have a healthy sense of your own danger. Tread slowly. Don't let the fearlessness in. Don't loose yourself to hope. You might get reckless with your love again, and actually begin to forgive people for all the things they never meant to do. You might see beauty in everything. You might start to Trust.

You might start to pray recklessly again. You might ask for more than you can handle. You might try to walk on water again.

And, oh God, what then?

To: Sarah and Paulina and Matt and Vysehrad and the Deutsche Bahn and Chris Piecuch.

26 September 2006

Here, the intersection of the timeless moment

Is England and nowhere.
Never and always.


...all the times I've left my house and all the different ways: late for the airport or painfully early, running out the door or going slowly (crying), leaving yelling or silent, early mornings and late nights, resolved or unresolved...

...and journeys all feel a little bit the same, standard procedure and standard carpets or tile or florescent lighting. Security guards all have the same facial expression, staring into their little monitor screens, peering inside my luggage...

...today's trip through Boston hardly feels unique: saying “Goodbye” to Mom on the steps, all the smaller children gathered around ... up to Providence for an ordinary sort of afternoon, lunch on Wickenden, showing Matt around a little since he's never been ... all the usual sorts of conversations and amusements, music and books, and well-known laughter...

...the commuter rail felt familiar, the burgundy vinyl seats, a little cracked, and the windows fogged and clouded as time ran over us quickly as we talked and made last minute phone calls...

...flying through the night, through Canada, across the ocean. I've never been this far away. But the world is the world, and all the people in it, standing up or buckled in and sitting down, are the same. Every face is a clue, pointing to a memory or a revelation, and there is no way to read behind the skin of someone else's profile, or guess the direction of their eyes when they are lost in the current of thought...

(7 September 2006)

05 September 2006

everything's mine but just on loan.

london / berlin / prague
07-18 sept 2006

Re: Days between Days

An airplane scrapes the sky, slicing higher, trailing lines like chalk, that begin distinct and fine and then spread, disappearing, erased by an unseen wind. Like the unseen wind in the laurels outside my window, that reaches up to the oak-tops and shakes leaves to the ground, that moves the curtain lace in my bedroom.

The sun burns shapes into my carpet, webbed negative space falling across my bed and onto my arm where I write, shadows, uneven and dark.

I am walking amongst uneven shavings, curled pencil carvings, dangling in long unbroken spirals. The discarded pieces of the whole. The missing days, that have fallen out of the calendar, at the edge of the end of summer.

It's gotten cold again at night, but my windows are staying open. My brothers have been coming down to my room at night to sit on the edge of my bed and talk or sometimes play guitar. And I am starting to feel changes in everything again, as physically as the drop in temperature.

Everything is shifting again. I've needed this for a while and hidden from it.

I work myself up. I say I identify with Kant, believing in the existence of the Divine but feeling incapable of reaching it.

I'm not even reaching.

Then, I think of that night, Jamie, sitting up in your room with the one candle burning finding a few words for one another and beginning to understand our own selves through our own prayers. I know we reached right across that theoretical line. All the nights you came over, Sarah Mac, and we laid on the floor with the one light on and talked to God. Stretching back to stairwell days when we were children, Jules, sophomore year and hard-to-digest letters and learning the honesty that comes when someone cares enough to be truthful.

We can say what we like about the breakdowns of communication, the impossibility of adequately conveying what we mean, the insufficiency of words, the slowness of speech—but in prayer the spirit cries out in deep-rooted soul cries, groans that mean more than words, internal wails that phrases can only fit loosely, but that capture acutely the very thrust of meaning.

Language is unreliable, but those cries are Heard.

Prayer will force me back to the truth about myself and the truth about Mercy. Mercy reaches across the line even when I don't want to. I pray, sometimes in spite of myself and my suffering is soothed; my restlessness is stilled; my thirst is flooded; hunger finds satisfaction.

Knock me so far out of myself that I can't get back inside. Lock me out. Lock me out. Collapse the awning over the door, chop off the front step, leave me without shelter, without entry. Drive me away from myself. I am so entangled inside, fingering myself, crawling deeper, knotted together. Don't let me back in.