Eve of a Record Release

The light has shifted again. After a long spell of heat and humidity, Nashville weather finally relents, surrendering its temperatures and foliage to the inevitable autumn. Each morning I rise in the three bedroom house that I share with two angels, Emily and Hope, off of Montrose. I put the tea on, feed Shakey, get dressed, and the two of us embark on a leashless prowl of the neighborhood for a quick plunge into the waking. I truly love this time to take in the streets and trees and light as all slowly arises. I do some of my easiest, quiet thinking here.

The other morning I began thinking about an old love in Brooklyn - the morning we walked with our fingers interlaced through chill in air and sun on wet ground, walking to the place he left me - and how part of me always seems to stay in the place he leaves me: the St. Pancras train station, a terminal at LAX, a porch awaiting a taxi. I remember everything sensory with a cruel memory. The rest is just story that needs no proving or disproving, the least of which being by me, and so I am forced into the writing of it. I have spent so many sleepless nights and early mornings pondering what has just transpired. I have attached myself so firmly to the story of my own rejection, and I have worn it from chapter to chapter in my weary book. While walking Shakespeare the other day, I realized how much I don't want that for my own daughter someday - how I will welcome the chance to tell her about what happened in my life to me and for me: how piece by piece I had to untease a knotted yarn until I could see the long connected thread, and how I attempted to weave a new piece of art for my life. So maybe the album has been for me, and also for her, and you if indeed it is also what you need to hear.

I've been thinking a lot about that - what I would write to my child about this time of active inner-cartography. What I would write to my child about what it feels like to be here with pen and paper trying to see the forest for the trees. How much that child is with me even now and perhaps I am reaching out to whatever might hold a future memory to see my innocence again. 

Yet again, I have another copy of Letters to a Young Poet with new passages highlighted and my scrawl in the margins. It reveals itself anew with each read. A friend recently told me that her understanding of pain is "to be alone with God." How much it reminded me of Rilke's "I want to be with those that know secret things or else alone," and how my understanding of that is connected with the sweetness of a pain as well. No matter one's belief in God, there seems such mystery to be mined in our own suffering, our processing, our development. Rilke was so often with his own loneliness, diving into the depths of his experience of waiting on some sort of arrival, all while growing "quietly and seriously throughout [his] own development." 

Quietly and seriously. How frequently do I feel my work to be solitary these days. I like it this way and I despise it all at once. The quiet is necessary for listening and tuning and refining. The seriousness is important for the discipline and foresight (or whatever is possible of it). There is also so much fun and levity. But the deep work of figuring out how to be present and discerning in the small flood of moments in a day - this is where I'm finding my own letters. 

I keep writing, and I keep writing, and I keep writing.