I wake up early, remembering my commitment to write. I kiss your sleepy mouth. Your red hair is disheveled across the pillow like an explosion of red oil paint on a sheer white canvas. You are in silence with a faraway look in your eyes as though you had just returned from a vast distance. There is a gentle suppleness present in your body. You are so at home in the nest of pillows and blankets. It is so difficult to leave you there.
Leave you there for the sake of what; to scribble this down?
I make you coffee even though I know it will be stone cold by the time you wake up. I feel the importance of this simple act of making you coffee in the morning; like something that is holy and ritualistic; like our lives depend on it in some way.
I buzz around you; moving swiftly upstairs and downstairs with my mind in a flurry of thoughts. Meanwhile, downstairs you are still in the land of dreams. I sit on the couch, sipping coffee. I am not really there. Now and then I mechanically venture over to the door and light a cigarette and watch the smoke float out the door to greet the crisp, cool morning.
“What a long day it’s going to be,” I complain inwardly. The vastness of this new day rises up to meet me like an abyss and I picture a car plunging over a cliff on some dramatic television series. It’s amazing to watch all these morning thoughts that surface and vanish through my head without any awareness. Is it the same with everyone?
I sit down at my desk while the new day is announcing itself above the city. I don’t recognize this new day. I take it for granted, as I usually do. How easily I forget that I cannot relive any of these days that are given to me. Throughout the churning of thought, the moment beckons to me very softly like a whisper and I don’t hear it. I am walking like a savage through these precious moments, paying no attention, like an uninvited house guest who is full of bad habits.
I keep thinking of your long red hair on the pillow and the darkness of the room. I keep thinking of how I take everything in my life for granted. I forget that I will die. How could the familiarity of the situation be different? How can I bring more of myself into these moments that seem familiar? Can I see them, taste them, feel them and remember them in a new way?
There is a deep green plant on my table that smells of earth and sunshine. It is loved and it asks of nothing from me except for my attention. Is there some silent communication taking place that I am unaware of? I’ve got no place to go and nothing to do except write this down. This writing isn’t particularly interesting. What would I feel compelled to write if I was dying? I see myself being carried away by all this verbiage and I try to remember myself sitting here. The sensation of my hands, this pen pressed firmly in these fingers and the weight of this body sitting here on this chair.
The next minute, I am gone again. I am so far from home. All these great distances I can travel from home yet still be in one place. What is needed for this writing practice? How do I describe this life into words? I picture a darkened movie theater where a thick red curtain draws back and a screen rolls down followed by a whirring sound as images present themselves. Who would I see? Where do I find myself and in what situations? What is this mysterious thing called Life and how can I be more present to it?