the quote below is from an article written by joan didion about keeping a notebook. what she writes resonates deeply with me, and i want to think about it and write some more about it when i have a moment. for now, though, i’m plastering this up here so i don’t forget to do so.
I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.
sometimes it’s hard to wrap an experience in words in a way that doesn’t make it seem cheap or trite or worth less than it was.
it’s hard to say: a miracle happened.
but sometimes they do, and you want to acknowledge them. so you try to find a way, and come up short. so you do this – talk about that. about the coming up short. and hope that somehow, the thing you want to express will find its way out somehow. a hopeful application of grease to the wheels of empty discourse.
i surrendered. and a miracle happened. there’s no other way to explain it, even though i have never liked or believed or wanted to use that word. something i was struggling with and struggling with and struggling with – finally i just broke open and the struggle ceased. something completely out of my control took place. a subtle, healing, seemingly completely coincidental happening. two inches more here or there, two seconds difference in time, and it wouldn’t have happened. but it did. and something twisted and tangled and anguished in me was smoothed, extinguished, integrated. in an instant.
because i’d let go. completely.
to myself – to write about the most amazing thing that happened tonight.
tonight you reminded me of a scene in one of the stories from ‘when we were very young’ that she and i read again recently. it’s one i’ve seen quoted before, but i’d forgotten the context. it’s more poignant in context. even though, at the moment, i can’t remember the exact context. but the general context was that pooh and piglet are walking in the hundred acre wood, and there is something kinda scary going on (perhaps it’s when they are looking for the heffalump?) and this conversation ensues:
“piglet sidled up to pooh from behind. “pooh?” he whispered.
“nothing,” said piglet, taking pooh’s hand. “i just wanted to be sure of you.”
when i’m unsure or frightened or sad or blue or lost or misty or crumpled or wrong-headed or weary, it feels good to know that i can always reach out my hand in the dark and pat around to make sure you’re still there, and feel your hand take mine, and softly squeeze it lovingly and reassuringly.
it’s one of my life’s great comforts, and you probably know how grateful i am for it. but maybe not. so i’m saying so, now. for posterity.
i’ve been sailing some rough c’s with one shouldered eye and three arms crossed awkwardly
i’ know my own shadow under the clever waves; reflective, deflective; insinuating film of bent noise
the woes of emotional congress and iron toast~
don’t make my marble roll backwards up course records
skiping aisles to find open windows
on the sil and the slips and savory moments of necked napes and glancing wrists
breezing, fleeting, my quiets of alchemy.