It’s been, for a lack of more original words, a hard year.
And it feels good to write that, kind of in the same way it feels good to sit on the front porch steps in the moonlit darkness and rant to your half-asleep dog about the injustice of the world.
But right now, it’s Friday morning, and most of the house is still silent. The room I’m sitting in is empty, and the light feels soft and curious as it stretches across the dusty windowsill and the refrigerator and the cardboard box with a gray rabbit hiding quietly inside.
Last night, I sat in this same place, playing the piano and wincing at how out of tune it was. Now, the plants on top of the piano seem to be stretching out their leaves towards the morning warmth, and the world feels just slightly different.
There’s a band-aid on my knee, which makes me feel a bit like I’m seven, and yesterday afternoon I froze in the middle of the room before ripping off my baseball cap and socks and running outside to get absolutely drenched in the summer rain.
I’m thinking about all the different people that exist in my consciousness, and I’m wondering where they are right now. Are they feeling okay about the world? Does checking the news leave them feeling sad or confused or just scared? Will they have bagels for breakfast? What would they think if they could see the sleeping rabbit and the way the delicate remains of a spiderweb are being illuminated on the windowsill?
The older sister of an a long-gone friend left a signed copy of a Kate DiCamillo book in the mailbox for me, a kid that she has no reason to know or remember, and the fact that hugging isn’t okay right now has never felt like more of an injustice.
I still don’t know how Camp NaNoWriMo is supposed to work, but I have a document with some mixed-up words in it, and I wrote a strange little poem about an astronaut:
only the moon was awake to see
a half-sized astronaut with dust in his hair
wondering at gravity’s limits
as he tugged open the screenless window
of the third-story bedroom where silence slept
and felt his oversized boots leave the floor.
Tomorrow will be Saturday, and it’s freeing to look up at the ceiling and remember that not a single person needs these words, which means I can let my hands wander over the keyboard as they please, just write for the sake of doing it, and it’s cathartic and calming and a even a little bit fun.
The Lumineers’ band name seems to me like the words luminous and pioneers put together, and I could be wrong, but I’d like to think that’s what it means—like they’re explorers on a quest to carry light into every uncharted corner of existence.
My violin case is sitting behind me, scattered recklessly with peeling stickers, and it looks like it’s waiting for something.
If every single person on earth shouted at the same time, would you be able to hear their voices from the edge of the atmosphere?
I don’t know, but a ridiculously happy piano song just came on shuffle, and my brother is awake and running down here to check on his bug cage full of grasshoppers, and, well—
(Kate DiCamillo, of course)