Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Three Moments


The first step out of the car hit the moist clay of an expanding graveyard. The rain had come and gone and this was left, this wetness and grime. It stuck to my shoes and crept up to the sagging cuff of my pants. I had never worn the suit before and hoped to not wear it again. I stepped to the back of the hearse and stood with strong men. They rolled out the coffin, each taking hold as it moved along, and together we carried it to the grave. Together we stood under a tarp and listened to the ritual. I don’t know the verse those words are from but I suspect that one day they will be said for me. Ashes to ashes. Such pessimism from a testament that should probably be forgotten... Kierkegaard says that the next of kin are always the last to leave the graveside and he is right about this. I watched my mother cry for her mother. My sister laid her head down. I put my haend on the coffin and felt the finality. In the grave, water had gathered into a pool of mud and grief. 
From a distance, I arose defeated by my own seriousness. Outside, the sun beat down upon everything, the enemy that always beats me to the dawn. Boots fastened, I reached for the jacket, an armored mangle of black leather and mesh. I slid it up my arms and shrugged it upon my shoulders. When the leather hit my collar I felt a subtraction. Brief but of great power. A promise that all weight can be lifted, for a time, by the potentiality of a fast corner. That perhaps the only slowness that ever was happened in the wind. I never hear her voice but I always look back. Eurydice doesn’t have a chance.
After a long absence, I travelled creaky stairs and walked in to meet the baby. She hung in silence and gradually reached for me. She put her head on my chest and called out the unformed syllables that were my name. I sat with her and held her for some time, wondering how something so small can be so much to bear. So profuse. Soon, she sat up, playful. She just needed to reconnect. We both did.
We sit outside of meaning and it is a joke to think that the forces of old can pull us back in. There is no going back. There is only the choice of what do do with the wreckage. Read a scripture or follow the science or ask the oracle about the movement of the stars. The stories belong to us. We no longer belong to them so we are free to put ourselves together tale by tale, piece by piece. The bones of my divination will be made of burnt rubber and the laughter of a child.

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