I was driving back from SC yesterday, listening to new music, after an emotional couple of days at work out of town. The light was low - that rare illumination immediately after a late spring sunset, when the sun is gone, but the reflection from clouds is still casting a warm glow over everything. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of time slowing, the moment suspended, as the trees and hills slowly rolled by on each side. This was one of those moments when I felt completely present, when the emotions were all aligned and the inner voices stilled. They're rare for me. I'm usually a dervish of ideas, music, images, intentions, readings of others around me, and struggles with whatever I'm currently suppressing or postponing. Time normally roars past like a storm, sandblasting memories and scouring my past so only isolated images are left.
And during that moment of stillness and wholeness I realized how hungry I am for moments like that. I was reconnected to a chain of them flowing back into my past, like the intermittent peaks of other mountains, in a long line into the distance, in the clear light above the racing storm clouds that obscure everything below. I recalled the long savoring of melancholy and artistic awe during many afternoons in college, either in the studio or in the poetry stacks. I remember afternoon breaks in the deserted cafeteria at Wachovia, looking west into the late afternoon sun from the ninth floor, writing a poetic setting of Jorinda and Joringle. I reviewed moments when I was suddenly still like a huge ear or a huge eye waiting quietly, and some event would happen and joy would spring up like a torch in my soul and set every part of me ablaze. I thought of many times lying awake holding Dearest, feeling that if I contained one more atom of joy I would explode into hot white particles of angelic song and divine laughter.
Like the highest peaks, though, we can't stay there long, and an hour further on my drive the light had changed, I was tired, and my hands ached from hours of steering and from weeks of keyboard tasks. I was content, comfortable, happy with what I have ahead of me, interested in my life and my work, pleasantly spent. Invested in the right things.
When I got home I carried my luggage into the garage, and noticed all the space. I wondered what car was missing, then froze as I realized the car was right there on the other side. Oldest had cleaned up the entire garage, and had swept. It looked terrific. It had been one of many neglected chores that weigh me down. I was grinning and grateful as I entered the house. He did it particularly for me, and I got that message.
Today while I replaced the attic fan motor, a job that has taken two weeks of gradual work and careful study to get the right parts, to loosen fasteners that stubbornly refused to turn, and considering the wiring options, Youngest took advantage of the clear garage floor to disassemble another motor, from an old electric weed trimmer. He always carefully wears eye protection for these jobs, and resorts less to the balpene than he did when he was younger. Though he's only ten, some of his tools, chosen in many cases on trips with me to home improvement stores and lumber yards, are better than mine, and he uses them with care and precision. Today we discussed the electrical field magnets, and the interesting springs he discovered in their assemblies. There is always something interesting going on in this house. In a few moments I will work with Daughter to hang venetian blinds in her windows.
The abstract at the top of this post is just play on the way to something else - I have no idea what, yet, though I think it will be human. It was fun to lose control of this piece, then regain it again... only to bury it partially under something else.
Life is very rich right now. And layered. Like baklava or lasagna.
I'm hungry - I wonder what I'm making for dinner tonight.
Whirl, whirl, whirl. Wheeeeee!