Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dear Morning,

You come too dark these days. Without my glasses you look like night. The baby bridges Sam and I, kicks me in the shoulder and I crawl into the bottom bunk, fall into a restless, dreamless sleep. There is too much for me these days with the cleaning and washing and wiping the bums. And then the other parts of the night where I hear about the body, and drinking and muscles, and I glaze over and wonder if I am meant to learn this way. My eyes dried and lazy, turn out from the center, searching for wisdom in all directions but directly in front. I am afraid of the night still, even as the years have ticked by without insomnia. I stuff it into my pillowcase with a crystal and a prayer, and hope to wake.

I have a water fountain in my office now. My husband and children made it for me for Christmas, and when I sit and wait for quiet and direction, the water sounds frantic, falling and lifting over small river stones, one with Lev's name written on it, a shell from Australian and a piece of glass blown as a touchstone for the beauty and darkness in me. The water, urgent and demanding, makes my heart race like I'm late for something. And yet I don't know what I'm late for, just that the writing is too slow and the quiet is not quiet enough. The water is rushing me. Calm down, water.

I lost something this past year. I lost something of grief, though it is not grief. Grief hangs all over my house, not oppressive, but the thing that touches grace and compassion and reminds us of hell. I listened to a woman speak of her miscarriage. It was graphic and heartbreaking and happened twenty plus years ago. She had never spoken of it, and the room quieted. And I looked down at my hands, unsure of how to explain the grace we are privileged to witness. My last baby died not even a year ago. Morning, you kept coming. Summer upon me, warming the deck, dancing on my face as I sipped full caffeinated coffee. The moss, cool underfoot, held my stance about you. Morning helped now, because mourning before helped.

My daughter draws her sister and brother as though they live. She makes equations as she learns math. Mommy + Daddy = Lucy + Michael + Jack + Beatrice + Thomas. And I wonder who these first two children are. The two that are dead. Who are those people to her? Who are they to me? They came like dew, evaporating before we knew the wet.

Morning, you are still my favorite time of day, even though you come too early and dark. I stretch through the fog and cold and smell you. Your dank something that reminds me of cappuccinos and waking in a cold piazza, too drunk and flu-ish to find my way inside an Italian hostel. I wrapped in a pinstriped sports jacket three sizes too big with an Italian scarf that smelled like smoke and booze. I drank cheap red wine out of an evian bottle, and passed out somewhere. I am lucky, Morning, that you hid me in your corners. I am lucky that you wafted the aroma of due cappucci in my direction, beckoned me to sober up despite myself. I have no drunken nights now. I wake without pounding head and dried lips and cotton through my mouth. I wake with potential and no regret. I wake knowing who I am and where I am and what I am doing today.

I remember this piece of dialogue from Alice in Wonderland and it reminds me of you.

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
I don't much care where.
Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
...So long as I get somewhere.
Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough. 

I've walked through plenty of mornings, you know better than anyone. Thirty-nine years of mornings. I've never been sure of which way I am going, (and this is the where the faith takes root) I just know that I am getting somewhere.


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