"Dreaming escape from all the days without a soul," I wrote, returned from soulful weeks in England to my writing room with Saint Bernard (whose lessons on ascent I had forgotten), Saint Cecilia with her wooden mandolin, and San Pasquale in his kitchen with bread oven and big-bellied smile. And finally tired of my plaint, they released me.
Instead of careful order now, finches every which way.
Instead of dread, dismay, that wobbly airborne feeling of a child first on a bicycle—the concrete all too obviously there lying in wait, but for the moment the glee of not having met it even midway.
Instead of complaints unjustified and unanswerable, the description of an old Normandy wheelbarrow. No longer useable, but charming in its garden repose.
I will re-pose, regroup, wobbly or no.
Music, cooking, climbing, birds. I write backwards on notebook pages, last to next-to-last, and look ahead. What am I now? All of these things and more, the Serene Highness I have been becoming all these years while seeming least serene, while driven to a lapse (or two) in my serenity.
Puccini, Frederick, and a calico chicken—all gathered on the big old Random House, the "Mr. House" my father consulted for words (if randomly) over the years, the words that mostly haven't failed me. All of the words I'll ever need.
And now the Friday songs are coming from the synagogue next door, and light pours through my little Tiffany window, and I am whole—wholly myself, despite (to spite) no longer having the work that seemed to define me or delimit me, acting as training wheels on that child's bike so long.
The one afraid of letting go, let go. And going, like those yellow-feathered finches, in precarious exaltation, every which way.
image: She Who Is