1:01 pm - October 14, 2020
This week, the desk I ordered came in the mail, and I had to get B to help me lug it in. I've spent three nights so far putting it together, little by little. The work is to listen for the very quiet voice inside that tells me "no," and to actually put down what I'm working on and walk away. I have spent my LIFE ignoring that voice, pushing through, getting to the end, but I'm finding that, right now, the negative consequences of that behavior far outweigh the positive.
A poem I've been reading a lot lately is called Spring, by Mary Oliver. I'd describe it roughly like this: A bear wakes up from hibernation and wanders around licking things and being a bear. It's really good:
down the mountain.
I think of her,
like a red fire
See? It's nice. I can see the bear's two black eyes, staring out of her big head, seemingly unknowable. The poem describes her as "a black and leafy ledge," and "this dazzling darkness," and I love both descriptions, because you can't grasp the details of her in them. She does perfectly what bears do, waking from hibernation and sharpening her claws "against the silence of the trees." And then there's this:
my life is
it is also this dazzling darkness
all day I think of her—
I find myself thinking a lot about that bear right now, when I'm stuck at home all day avoiding a virus. My friends in other countries seem to be out and about for the most part, which makes me increasingly upset about the state of my little world. I want so badly to be out there, too. But this is the work: I'm sitting on the living room carpet in Texas, trying to understand the dazzling darkness of my life, the breathing, wordless animal of my exhausted form.
how to love this world.