Because it had all been going so fast.
Because the days had been more than a little unusual and time
more than a little whipped wild,
then pressed into travel bags and
long train trips,
trying to jam five days of thinking and
four days of figuring life out
into a matter of multiple minutes
there were only two ways things could go now —
either, the manic
flurry of activity could press itself further
into the fraying corners of the day such that it all
(time) was crammed with who-knows-what because
tiredness had erased any detailing of uniqueness
or clarity of moments, or
thoughts, fragile in exhaustion, could collapse into
a thin nauseas pile, collect themselves into a greyish
cluster of sadness –
the lonely remnant ghost of being known,
belonging, now only shadows,
experiences of rejection.
there was a third option — harder —
the slowing down, breathing into the
space that was her own body, catching,
collecting thoughts gently, holding the self —
a kind of welcoming home.
The wild frenzy, shadow echoes would subside.
She moved to the kitchen, filled the kettle, assembled the glass teapot, sprinkled in the crushed green mint. Inhaled deep. Waited for the old kettle to boil. Exhaled.
Thoughts – they were pulling now – tight – either the aching brittle loneliness or the more, more, repetition…
The water bubbled as the steam rose from the tarnished spout.
Let it settle,
let it be.
She lifted the kettle – hot and heavy – spilled clear water into the pot and carried it out to the sofa. Poured slowly into the small ceramic mug, stopped, looked around. The room was cold and she pulled her heavy knit closer around her chest. The wide white walls with their framed art felt foreign, though they were hers. The wicker chair, though she’d chosen it, the green velvet cushions, though she’d sewn them.
The place felt far from home
but she had built it – assembled
every piece, hung the linen curtains in the high window arches.
Maybe it was the smell
or the hollow feeling of a place
that had been empty awhile
a place untouched,
hungry for love.
But she’d bought fresh tulips
that afternoon. Cut the stems,
filled the vases with cold water.
She liked how young they looked,
tall and still hard budded, about to
break, about to be released.
Maybe it was some kind of gift that plans had been cancelled that night. After weeks of travel, faces, plans. Time just to sit and warm this house back to life again…
God knew it needed it
she needed it.
But there was that
restless tiredness in her,
wanting to somehow fill, press the corners
of these hours with more. She did not know how to keep herself
on the fragments of the feast of love
she’d found away from here… Didn’t know if she had enough
within her to feed herself,
let alone fill this home, these streets.
So then, she wavered on the edge of thought,
the two options, the either/or.
Though she knew,
if she could only rest simple, receive,
breathe a moment, the choice could be
for a third.
the digging into deeper,
lifting the lid of the living,
truthful re-seeing of the same
a more in
this lacking, plenitude in rest.
what was real rest?
what would it feel like?
would it satisfy, like that embodied
love had done?
She sipped her cooling tea, slow. Closed her eyes. Breathed in.