I seem to have forgotten how to write about nothing – the great wide expanses of absence. Why must everything be something? Have meaning? Fall into line? Be coherent? I’ve beaten myself silly about not categorising thoughts inside the margins of my journals because they need to go into an essay, a piece somewhere, a part of me, a sliver of elegiac thought poured into prose. But all of this agonising has come to nothing. Naught.
I read two books of poetry one day while the sun beams streamed into a large room. There was silence and foxes and ponds and pinecones and absent loves. There was peace and I wondered about a thing or two then tucked the thoughts away but they come back to me now. Quite unlike how they had departed. Why do they come back home changed? As if they altered themselves on the way, trimmed their eyelashes, picked fresh mint on the way, smelling of someone’s sweet scent, coloured in the views of where they had been, and laughing through their eyes whispering things I hadn’t conceived before. Why do stray thoughts become something else when you’re not looking?
And he returns.
With his eyes like pools of honey, glinting in the sunlight playing, replaying, remembering, unfolding, stopping. Peaceful to look at, like tiny hazel ponds inside a Mary Oliver poem.
And he disappears.
I try to think about things from time to time: long periods of where to, the tram in The Appointment, village homes, missed conversations, lots and lots of plants that survive everything, fortitude, and optical fiber. I think about that tram a lot and what I would think of had I been on it. I wish I could be the kind of person who could read The Appointment again. I loved that book. I wish I could be the person who could read stream of consciousness again. Hang on, maybe I am. I try to be myself, but from time to time, I am the people I used to be. How do they say it? The whole is greater than the sum of all the past, present and future parts of yourself. And the whole is here today. Today is your becoming.
Turns out love carries more weight once it is in the past. I loved her is a full story. I love her is just present tense. And yet, and yet, the present is indeed a gift.