11.01.2009

let me live my life in monochromaticisms

Besides the extra hour of sleep, daylight savings in the fall-time makes me bitter about the too-soon fading light. Tonight it is hardly 5:30 and my living room is in that in-between stage: too dark to see clearly, too light to turn on the lights. The colors drain, distilled into shape and shadow.

I can see a sunset reflection on the windows across the way. Right at 6--now 5--the reflected sun shines strong through the slats of our blinds, projecting a shadow show across our wall of half-frames and the little tree made of paper bag strips. The orchids, the daisies, the wildflowers, the rosemary plant, the colored glass jars leave a second layer of patterns on the wall, shifting by the moment.

And I am sitting here as I have sat all day long, curled up in a plaid blanket, too sick and weary to do much else but watch the sky, watch the light. It's been a long time since I've sat in one place, since I allowed myself the luxury of long-looking. Now the sky is gray-blue-purple, and Alexi Murdoch is playing softly in the background, and the only color left in this room is a faded orchid pink and a faded gerber daisy orange by the window.

This reminds me of:
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away—


I'm waiting for the scene to change. I'm not sure where I stand in the progress of this play; maybe past the climax, tripping through the falling action, nearing the denouement. Or perhaps the action is rising still, moving forward towards the climax.

But maybe the five-part structure just doesn't fit. I am still unconvinced that my life progresses in a straight line. If anything, I have been caught in a circle of rising action, climax, falling action, and back again, never reaching resolution, never reaching the all-important denouement.

What I do know is this: the last two weeks were weeks of color, bright, clashing, exhausting flares of significance. Now to recover I will steep myself in gray-blue twilight, in the murky darkness of black cream tea, in the stillness of deep dark ocean lit by a full moon, all while tasting words of full-bodied poetry on my tongue.

Now I am waiting for the scene to change and wishing my denouement to come. I am waiting for the lights to come on again, and for the background to be suddenly different, to be taken suddenly from the snowy Swiss alps to a flat grassy meadow in the Midwest. I am waiting for the weariness to disperse, for the fear to be stilled, for the healing to be complete.

But then I remember that this life is, excuse me Donald Miller and forgive me Shakespeare, like jazz and does not resolve. And, in this season at least, peace and grace settle unnoticed through moments of grays and blues.

1 comment:

sifluralin said...

That section of Eliot's quartets has stuck with me too, and it runs through my head at the oddest times. I am struck by how similarities of what we choose to read, Kathryn, and what seems to move us.

Hope you are well in the south. Much love.