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.