Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I thought it would hurt more than this, the restructuring. The way life bends to reform itself after its very frame has been altered. I thought the simple things I do for my own contentedness and comfort would begin to feel thin and transparent, as they stretch tight to cover the hole left by a sudden absence. I lost a good man from my life, and with him all my sketches for that particular future I had- briefly, but fiercely- set my heart on.
But it hasn't been that way, not even after the dust settled. Instead, all the different pieces of the day feel as if they had been shaped by a master craftsman, each serving its purpose and locking into the next, holding the season together.
I've been alone these last few days on the hill. Alone in the country, which is to say that, should I want, I could sit out in the field and watch the sun whirl above me up for a week straight without seeing another soul. (For anyone who is keeping record, I don't choose to do it this way.)
Sometime last night, the temperature dropped way, way beneath prediction, and I had to climb out of bed, shivering, and pull all the windows shut. All day long, the air held a trace of autumn's snap. It was a fluke which held no promise of lasting, but I could sense the plants were startled.
The cold was a welcome respite for me. I spent the day pleasantly alone, busy each moment with things that needed to get done. I felt not a whisper of the bitter side of solitude, but in the evening, I made a point to escape the big old house, should sadness seep in along with the cold drafts that appear like ghosts from the doors and window and out from between the wood slats of the floor.
I drove to a place in town that has a big open fire inside, and pint glasses of beer, and the sounds of people eating and drinking and talking.
The gray clouds that gathered thick overhead were tinged on their underbellies with a shade of magenta of unseasonable boldness, but they blew past or dissolved before the last bit of light had disappeared, leaving the sky a clean, electric blue. I ate a warm bowl of warm tomato and cheddar cheese soup, and in the circle of lamplight on my small table, read from a hardcover book of humor writing from The New Yorker.
If there is one hour has the potential to strike me with nostalgia and sadness, it is the time when evening melts into night, a time I've always considered designed for a person to come home to find the lights on, and dinner being cooked, and someone waiting for them. But at that moment, alone with the warmth of the flames from the big iron fireplace, I felt lucky. Lucky, and fed, and nothing else.