today is about giving yourself wholly to a thing.
I woke up at the unfathomable hour of 11:30 am. I never sleep late. I was blessed, arising into the day with all of my energy, with full focus, is it. I decided to read a book from start to finish and dedicate today to giving wholly. I chose Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard.
I brewed my coffee and did my not-exercises and moved rocking chair, stool and plastic chair to the backyard with a view looking into the 9 hour hence sunset.
This book is transcendent. I’m caught on its thermals and carried forth in a great and deliberate rush. She is not trying to show us a shell, she is trying to save our lives (to paraphrase why she thinks she is a clunker at dinner parties). So many moments during the day I stop and reach down to catch my breath and make marks in my book of things i want to remember the gist of what she said:
I come to the island in the center of the creek every month of the year, I come to it as an oracle would, or as a soldier to the battlefield where he lost a leg.
what do we think of the universe?
that which isn’t flint is tinder.
But the story of mine for today is wanting to give up. Page 149. The end of the chapter on intricacy. I’m feeling a need for distraction, I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten yet today. I need to move around. I go in the residency (I live next door in the garage), which is currently empty, and there are about 18 million fruit flies. This is wholly my fault for leaving an unwashed plate in the sink, and somewhat due to the immense amount of rotting food I found on arrival. I think this is a perfect distraction, to celebrate the day’s motif by doing the dishes and cleaning so well the insects have to go back outside.
One thing being poor can teach you quick, is how to beat bug infestations.
After the kitchen is spic and span, I go back out to eat my egg/avocado/pepper burrito and pick up Tinker again to read as I eat. But, I haven’t even looked at the sky. All of the storms I’ve been hearing about at Spartan and Pioneers are finally making their way across Missouri to me. I’m going to be drenched. It’s the ocean coming back to me, having been pulled bodily by the sun and transported impossibly across the mountains to unleash its very self onto me while I eat a burrito in the Ozarks.
While I eat a burrito in the Ozarks and READ!
I am newly invigorated and pull Annie back up. Page 150. Chapter: Flood. The sky begins to sprinkle on my page.
I’m lost again into the whether and when of Annie’s exploring and stalking. She talks about how things are violent when they pass their boundaries. I know what she means in more ways than one. Part of learning is putting up boundaries, between right and wrong, between wanted and unneeded and sometimes, we forget what it’s like to know nothing.
I grown distracted by the play of the color of the sunlight on the page of the book. It’s been a cloudy day with a gorgeous breeze, can’t surely have passed 75 for a second. The sky is always somewhere baby blue to cobalt with every kind of cloud you could want, but they are thinning out. They are getting all heated up and white with the star’s adoration. You know there are 4500 horse powers of energy radiated on this meadow I sit in this moment? That means at least a couple dozen horses made of pure light energy of trampling me right now and my body responds with a purring. Browning, soothing, warm and sunning.
I haven’t been reading for awhile, and then the brilliant sun comes full force onto my skin onto this patch of Ozark wherever, we’re spinning at like 65k per hour, it’s amazing I catch it at all. I close my eyes completely and the sun is hot! The temperature has kicked up 10 degrees instantly. The house ac compressor kicks on. My eyelids are closed and turning that translucent blood red color and I swear I can see individual red blood cells whisking about in the business of keeping me blinking. Do you know there is an atom of iron at the center of the 150+atoms of carbon and whatnot that are arrayed in a very specific architecture and that if you take that iron out and exchange magnesium, you go from hemoglobin to chlorophyll?
Do you see how close I am to a tree?
I open my eyes just at the moment that it becomes the tree with the lights in it. Sunlight dances through the leaves and sets the whole business on fire, there is only black shimmer tree and dervish translucent blood sun pushing everything on. The tree and me are drunk on the power of light.
My body is pricking with transcendent pleasure. I keep hold of the book and just enjoy. The sun is heating everything up and I feel eruptions of sweat begin their tickling paths back to the ocean. Suddenly, here’s a cicada blowing his face up with frantic chirping. This one starts a song, fast, then slows down. Another fills the downbeat until together they are making a fast riff on the first fast song. Some inspired third will join in. Sometimes, this trio makes quite a song. Sometimes the third causes the whole show to go bust. In that case, it’s always the third who starts the new fast song.
The cicadas stopped when the sun went back behind the clouds again. I caught an avocado square as it fell gracelessly from my bite. We forget what it’s like to know nothing and spend our lives trying to remember. Puppy’s ears don’t match because of how he snuggled his brother in the womb. The trees shape themselves based around their competitors for the sun. Nothing is lost, but everything is spent and we are each the reflections of the health of our environment.
I feel well enough to finish the book now.
I open to read Annie say, “Things are well in their place.”