Thursday, April 14, 2016

Being Here

I am four nights into my two week residency.  The chaos of the first morning resolved (and I troubleshooted -- troubleshot? -- my way to fixing the printer even!).  

So much is different than I expected.  I've been sleeping wildly, wakeful and restless in my own narrow bed.  I've flipped the light on at 3:30 and at 5 -- read and tossed and made tea.

During the days, I'm surprised by how easy it is to be here, how quickly I move through time sitting at my desk, paced by meeting the group for meals, the clack of the train going by, the clutter of blue jays, cardinals and mourning doves at the feeder beyond my window.

Despite what I'd planned (I thought just letters, videos, messages -- no direct contact would be best and most settling), I've facetimed with the kids every day, and even when they've dissolved into tears at the end of the call, I've stayed surprisingly intact.

I wonder what it will all feel like at this time next week?  So far the practice has been simply being where I am, in this hour, in this studio.  And the time passes full and easy.

Steeped in good words; a poem I love, whose last image keeps coming to me through the day:

Endless Forms Most Beautiful
                                Catherine Barnett

Praise these eyes for opening
before the highway split
and for giving the second another second,
another second or hours,

or days in which, suddenly old enough
to sit beside me in the passenger seat,
doubled over, face in shadow,
the nape of his neck

exposed, the back of his head
more known and unknowable to me
than anything else on the skidding earth,
the child humming along with Z100's

You reached me at the right number but at the wrong time
can reach into the dirty footwell not to brace
for the irreparable but simply
to tighten his cleats, singing,

feeding the endless black laces
through the line of bright aluminum eyes.

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