Monday, 19 January 2009

Until then, still bumping into walls

Meet me in the near silence and the heat from the fire. I refuse to let it die just yet, whether because of a strange need for comfort or an unacknowledged fear of the creeping cold. The bricks that make up this building have suctioned up the freezing air from outside and are holding it the way an angry child holds its breath during a tantrum. I can feel the air inside the walls changing colour from impatience - blue to purple to opaque mist. But it will hold until the moment I give in and go to bed. The moment my fingers turn the dial that stops the gas and shuns the orange ghost which, at the moment, still hisses like a snake forever on the offensive but without the guts to strike.

I have spent the day languishing in deep, quiet rest. Enough time has passed that I have slipped into a state of mind that does not belong in this century, or even the last one. Today as I lay in bed watching the snow come down, flakes like wide cupped palms that have no expectation of receiving anything, I thought to myself that if I had it to do over, I would not move.

If I had it to do over I would like to stay in one place, a remote place with little in the way of luxuries. I would like to be born without the curiosity for travel, but instead remain in a state of near constant rapture at the cycles and movements of the world right outside my door. I would like the opportunity never to know anything but that, and to live a challenging and gratifying life where I come to understand the tactile joy and sorrow of words like bounty, feast, plenty, lean, sacrifice.

This time it is too late. While I was born with an intrinsic impulse toward the sensual hum and swish of the earth, the ravenous opportunities of modern life have planted in me a desire to fling myself everywhere at once, to know everything and every place, always tearing off small pieces of experience and tagging them to myself like a coat made of recyclables. I scatter so easily, lost on so many tides of ideas and wishes that I think there is no way these confused rivers will find their way back to the ocean. When I was younger I experienced this as a restless desire to escape, to move on. Now my inability to just stay to one path is a source of frustration, because no matter how much I tell myself that tomorrow I will focus and move forward with precision and passion, something shiny and alluring is sure to pop up, blinding me with the smoke of the mystics and the glint of something indescribable on the horizon.

Still I can feel inside me a tiny, mysterious dot, the kind that exists in the invisible, until a child with a pencil moves the lead through the maze of the colouring book labyrinth and finds the middle. The exact middle. And there the pencil stops abruptly in acknowledgement of that precious single point. This is followed by a brief but engulfing sigh of relief that there is now no where else to go. We can all just relax.

9 comments:

Dale said...

I know that ambition is supposed to be the last infirmity of a noble mind, but I'm inclined to think maybe it's the desire for a rooted & continuous life :-)

(a snake forever on the offensive but without the guts to strike

Love that. And love the dot.)

I don't know. Pause at the dot, I guess, and then go on, knowing it's there but that we can't often reach it: that may be the best we can do.

Lovely writing. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You'll never stop moving Sophia.
It is the way of things.
JP.

C.S. Perry said...

If you didn't have that magical center then you wouldn't be able to string the words together the way you do.
It's the ability to see Clearly that makes the words flow and the ability to see Clearly comes from knowing where that Center is and that it will always be there...even if you don't settle there for very long.

Excellent writing today. I feel much better just having read it.
I envy your vision.

Jacqui said...

"
This time it is too late. While I was born with an intrinsic impulse toward the sensual hum and swish of the earth, the ravenous opportunities of modern life have planted in me a desire to fling myself everywhere at once, to know everything and every place, always tearing off small pieces of experience and tagging them to myself like a coat made of recyclables. I scatter so easily, lost on so many tides of ideas and wishes..."
This is what makes you so special. You are a driving force. An inspiration. A colourful, creative and exciting whirlwind in a world littered with people who are drab, grey and predictable.

Small Boat Sails into Big Mystery said...

Wonderful words. The dot in the center of the labyrinth. I like walking those labyrinths that you see in churches and cathedrals, don't know if that's a big thing in Scotland. But I like to seek them out when I'm on the road. There's a labyrinth-finder web site.

tumwijuke said...

Where have you been all my life? I love your writing! I'm going to live here for several days ...

Oh, and thank you for visiting my blog a while ago.

Purest Green said...

Gosh. Thanks everyone. You make me feel...special.

Jacqui said...

You are!

B.G. said...

very beautiful. your writing is becoming more like who you are