Vancouver 29th August 2005
The two of them in their leafy gate waving goodbye, bright faces, she
so little. I'd given her a careful hug on the track. Thank you so, so much
for having me all that time, all the evenings on the porch. It was our pleasure,
she says in her quirky gravelly little voice.
I won't be able to say much of this. We were on the alley track above
their kitchen, we'd just driven back from an Indian restaurant through late
sun and rain, a monkey's wedding with a rainbow that had its strong south
leg in the river and shifted as we drove. David pulled his red car ahead
of my parked blue one that we'd packed earlier. Right there under the many-trunked
cedar and next to the tangle of figs and grapes and the grassy bank below
the highway seemed the place to say goodbye.
The Star of India had been closed so we'd gone down the street to the
Royal Tandoori House, which was maybe a former nightclub with stained seating
and a double-height ceiling with fluorescent tubes. We'd sat together in
that ugly gymnasium in that dull light waiting an hour for our food, which
I was going to buy. Dorothy had on a pink knitted shawl for the occasion
of eating out, and under it was wearing her pink beads. David had on an
unironed grey cord shirt. I my orange singlet and blue linen shirt, rather
grubby. We were comfortably uncomfortable together in our corner. Dorothy
was watching a curtain jerking continuously in the glass door to the kitchen.
We could sometimes see a little boy with a handkerchief on a knob on his
Dorothy is such a girl and David such a boy. They are young together,
she 92 and he 60. He has hardly any grey hair and hers is darker than mine
though thin and fine. What they are is light, they're fairyfolk. When I
was waiting at the register to pay I saw myself in the bar mirror looking
the way I love to look, light too, taller and slighter of bone, the elf
self. It's cultural with them, they're well bred, they know how to relax
with people and be vigilant at the same time, they have a mode of affectionate
play. I settle in with them, say whatever comes to me. We laugh.
Had come from Mary in Clearbrook, she and Art and Hilda helping me put
my boxes into a stall in the parking basement. Not well bred, Hilda grabbing
our heads and pulling them tight together and praying aloud, Dear Lord ...
Mary's energy thick as mud, background anxiety I guess, whole dark back
room thick with yelling ghosts.
Anyway, there we were on the alley track under the sky and Dorothy was
saying travel safely kinds of things, and then the last thing she said was
to the jeep, Go well, True Blue.
It seems violent ambivalence is my indicator of true love.
Liking some of her so much made not liking some a crisis. That's a way
of saying ambivalence.
Say it another way. Liking some of her so much puts me in mortal fear
of betrayal. The not liking is how I forestall. There aren't so many I like,
that I can afford to be so harsh. And yet what other way can such fearful
liking be lived?
Drove with Tom to Palm Ave. He drove I yelled. By the time we were on
the train platform together I was putting my arms around him. You're a real
prick aren't you, I'd said. That was when he pulled over next to the Reiss
to let me go on alone because I didn't want to go back home and get my CD
player. He changed his mind in time but then called me a squashed butterfly
when my feelings were hurt. Very satisfying on both sides. After the trip
to Mexico we came back here and got the CD player and drove up University
Ave with the Bar-Kays cranked up - we'll get a ghetto pass for that, he
said - and up around 60th turned left and came back down El Cajon Blvd and
stopped at Denny's and shared a banana split. He is saying he wants to stay
at the mission and write, be an artist. I like the sound of it. Half a dozen
I have got to the part of 1960 where I am finally touching a man, not
going mad in the blind froth of not touching one. The burst of sex
I could get away from home. I forgot about Doug but when I read about him
now it's as if he prefigures Frank - he was physical - clickers on his shoes,
tight teeshirt if I am remembering right - he was after me with intent and
kindness. When again has it ever been like that, straight up physical intention
though I hedged and fussed. Thank you for what I didn't know was good -
I knew it was good, I was determined to have it - but I didn't know it was
a better good than for instance Reiner's sentiment. He was very level and
clear, he could see me in my girl self quite directly.
Yes I want it again - I want a man to be after me with that sort of sane
Am noticing something lately, a misgiving about the father fantasies.
I've been going there in very easy good conscience since they work and are
only fantasies, but lately I've had as if a moral uneasiness. I'm saying
'as if' because I think it's maybe the thought of someone like Auntie Anne
reading about it in the journal, and something about doing that to my actual
dad's memory. The way he is thought of.
What I am thinking this morning is that the father fucking fantasy is
so loaded a taboo because it is so much the whole culture's unconscious
fantasy. I was taught it vigorously in church and it is philosophically
admirable of me to investigate and articulate it in its true form. But still,
Ed Epp did not fuck his daughters though he likely wanted to, and it would
have been ruinous to them if he had. He was god-fearing to the end, and
should be remembered as he was and not marked with what he would have abhorred.
There are photos of Opa and Oma in their rectitude, the sweetness of
their *60th wedding anniversary photo, the success of their belief. The
heavenly father may be, is, infantile fantasy, but it carried them in faith
steadily through catastrophe to happy marriage and social success. And here
is their granddaughter taking Nietzsche's liberty and more, a science that
can be joyful to very few - but must be preserved for those few.
A doubt that maybe I am corrupt, that I have been carried into corruption
by degrees all of which seemed innocent to me, that the book is really the
subtle devil leading me by clever mixture of truth and falsity, or maybe
truth entirely, until there is one final falsity that is fatal.
To me a question mark registers a sound and so I don't use it when the
sentence is grammatically a question if I don't hear the interrogative sound.
and do use it when do I hear the interrogative sound. I don't know why many
questions aren't interrogative - because they are more like statement, they
are movements toward knowing something. I know not using the question mark
is accurate transcription.
- The reason I was cryptic was that I was trying to stay out of social
forms of thought. What does that mean. Explaining is for the other, I already
know what I mean. But then why write at all. Because it moves something
along. The way this question-and-answer form does.
Pushing to finish transcribing Still at home.
When I get home after the US trip  something
changes. During the trip I settled into writing. While I was away it mostly
was still boys, but when I was back on the farm there's more daily life.
From one day to the next I learn to spell definitely.
I fall into pious conformity when I'm under strong influence, but I recover
my secularity in a day. I revel in coming out of childhood's isolation by
my own effort. There's a passage about the bomb. When I'm frothy it's always
about the way people look, I take such a strong imprint of strangers' bodies.
It's as if estrogen was my reprieve. It made me silly but it gave me focus
and intent. Elation that carried me socially.
I love being in these pages - the daily pages where I widen out in home
life - I didn't know I was well-founded there - expanding so naturally -
the way as we change, my vision of the kids in my class changes. The background
is so stable I can do the fourteen year old's work without interference
it seems, remarkably supported and unhampered.
Niland CA on the dusty plain of the Imperial Valley. A lot of trees.
Birds. Ramshackle little houses, trailers, wide empty streets. Thick-trunked
palms. Shirley encamped in a junkyard office under a big machine-shed roof.
We sat an evening and a morning in the shade of that high sheet-metal roof
in a graveled wire-fenced compound. A stripped truck cab. A white 70s Mercury.
A couple of army trailers. A long pink industrial hose. Old electric stoves.
Hubcaps. Unidentifiable bits of metal.
Shirley sat in a high-backed old armchair, pale turquoise. Big body,
big tits, big pale face with small blue eyes, big gappy teeth. She would
lean back her head and roar with laughter. Large sexless and self-possessed.
She had her settlement from Frank's estate and took it to New Orleans
to get her MA at Notre Dame. There was a religious ed professor, ex-nun,
who liked her, wanted to work with her. She said to herself, I'm not happy.
Went down into the French quarter and got a room. Met Richard in a bar.
Said to herself, I'll buy him if I have to. Went back to her professor and
said, I've decided to work with the homeless.
There's a homeless man I've decided to live with.
Yes, get out of here, go and live, said the ex-nun.
Crack and sex and music. She sang with him. "He threw away my makeup.
And my underwear." They went on the road. He was always on, he'd put
on a white shirt, a Mexican hat. "If he were here right now he'd be
entertaining us." (There she brought out a pile of pictures.) He'd
pose. He looked very Mexican, a beard with white streaks on either side.
A very energized small man.
He was at Woodstock. He was 6 years in San Quentin. Something about Timothy
Leary. Into the army at 16 - he had the choice of that or juvenile detention.
He liked the army. He was personal guard to a general. He liked a lot of
kinds of music - the Grateful Dead. Liver failure four years ago but his
liver rejuvenated itself. A cancer scare last summer. 140 degrees under
the tin roof. A lot of things going wrong, bad leg, injured hand so he couldn't
play music. Muscle spasms. High blood pressure. If he took the medications
his peepee wouldn't work, so he'd go off it. Shirl would say, It doesn't
matter, but he'd say, I know, but I like ...
Two weeks ago the spasms painful and he thought he'd take a muscle relaxant.
His lip went numb. It's the muscle relaxant, they thought. Then his arm.
By the time they realized it was a stroke he was paralyzed down one side.
The ambulance from Brawley took 45 minutes to find the address. At the hospital
in Brawley they decided to airlift him to Palm Springs. They wouldn't take
Shirl in the helicopter so she had to drive the van. It was stuttering,
so she had to keep jerking her foot on the gas. It took her five hours to
get to Palm Springs. He was still alive when she got there. She said, You're
cold aren't you, I'll get you some blankies. She thought his eyes recognized
her. Then they declared him brain dead, but they wanted to harvest his organs.
His kidneys were still good. So they kept him going by machine for a while.
Then they let her wash him. They said, You'll have to go now. She said,
Why? We have to put him in a bag. She thought, I've been here until now,
I might as well go on. So she helped put him in the bag. Zipped it shut.
The county cremated him. Gave her a 13-year repayment plan, $10 a month.
She's trying to get him into the military cemetery at Riverside.
Years back, they were in a room somewhere. Richard sent her out to buy
some Vaseline. There weren't any small sizes. She came back with the large
size (demonstrates size of a large bowl). He laughed. But by the end of
their time in that room it was all gone. They had Vaseline in their hair.
The first time they got together he looked at her and said, Let's see
what you've got. Started taking off his clothes. I've got a small peepee
but I've got big balls. Demonstrated his scars as his clothes came off.
He said to her, This is the first time I've been with an ugly woman. His
friends would say, Why are you with that fat old thing. He called her Swamp
Mama. She said they always liked to talk to each other about everything.
The thought of going back to Canada makes her want to puke. She doesn't
want to be around white people anymore.
78 home. And from the Borrego Springs turn-off to the bottom of the Banner
Grade it was dazzlingly beautiful to both of us. I took Black Canyon Road.
Janet fell silent there and continued so. 8 to her door at the Hyatt Islandia.
Great-tailed grackles Michael said they were.
Shirley warmed up to me when I got back from the Salton Sea and backed
up to the slab and unpacked a kitchen and cooked dinner. She kept saying,
You're so efficient. I had the Coleman set up on the plastic box with pots
and pans in it. Boiled potatoes there and fried onions and then steak in
her electric fry pan. It gave me something to do while they talked about
people I don't know and wouldn't like to know. Fed them on my camping plates.
Brought out rice pudding afterwards. Then unpacked everything else in the
back of the jeep and unfolded my clean sheets and made my cozy bed. Shirley
had overhead fluorescents on. We sat and listened to stories about Richard.
It was the wake, really. She did sometimes ask questions. How'd you get
your bad leg? ("I don't like to call it bad. It hurts its feelings.")
Were you ever a fatty like us? Were you ever married?
Tom on one end of the couch yesterday and I on the other. Paul had said
to him the night before, My check came in last night, let's go downtown
and have a Bloody Mary. Tom said he said, I hate to tell you this man but
I haven't had a drink in ten years. I was staring at him, reached for the
string. He hadn't shaved and looked seedy. The string said he was telling
the truth. Tom was slightly offended. I said - a bit later - Would you be
a bit nice to me, I have a sore heart. It hangs by a thread. He said what
he says, I'm no good at being nice to people when they want me to be. I
said, You don't have to do very much. Do you want me to be closed again?
If I'm open, the cost is that I'm vulnerable to fear. He pulled me over
so my head was on his knee and stroked my hair back from my forehead.
Then later I was standing on the bathroom step so I was eye to eye with
him. I had been telling him about Janet's pretty woman signifiers. He said,
But you're beautiful. And so on. Then he said, You're happy now.
I was, but I said, I'm happy that I'm taller than you now.
A couple of twenty year olds were looking at him on the street last week
and one said, Hi there, stud daddy. And then in the salad line the middle
woman serving called him you beautiful man.
A beautiful day. It rained at night. I woke at three, took an aspirin,
put on CD3 of Anton Lesser reading the Odyssey. Listened to the end,
woke again in daylight.
I was typing January 1993 when Tom called up from downstairs. There he
is. I grin. Drop him the keys. He thought he'd better get here early because
I'd likely be out the door to go camping for the weekend. I laugh. Yes I
was going to be out all day. Made him coffee, scrubbed the toilet with rust
remover while he ran out his mission troubles. His voice is too loud for
this little room. But I wanted to play him a bit of the Lesser so he can
hear how well it's read. I don't know whether he'll like the archaic blank
verse but he is right there. He gets a beautiful look on his face.
He can pick up his check at ten. I'll drive him. Watching the gas gauge.
We wait outside Hands On, then I take him to his check cashing place, then
to storage to pay his backlog, then to find gas. We're going to Ocean Beach
for breakfast. I shove the seat back and give him the keys.
There were a lot of people fishing on the pier. We watched them from
the counter in the café hauling fish up sometimes two at a time.
A very old man directly in front of us, wool toque over his baseball cap.
He's maybe Japanese. He is pulling in fish continuously. When he turns to
put them away we see he takes his weight on his right leg as if it hurts.
The sky has cleared. There's sun into the green water. Tom spots an orange
starfish on the fourth pillar out.
We stand by the rail looking south at sea spangles and a long strand
of kelp holding to one spot but slowly sinking. Its orange-brown color in
the green ocean, in that lucid winter light. Then we stand a while on the
north rail watching a fat seventy year old on a longboard - covered all
over with old-style thick neoprene - cap, gloves, booties - trying to catch
what small waves there are. He's too slow to get up. Tom watches on until
at last he manages it. We watch him in and then it's time to go.
Drive up the coast into Point Loma. A sparkling day. There is a long
bank of cloud quite far out to sea, and another over the desert. The strip
of coast lies washed and flowery under its high roof of palms.
We're driving up Catalina toward Cabrillo Point. Tom turns into the military
cemetery. It's Veteran's Day. Quiet green sward above the sea. Ocean's blue
glitter, this fresh green, sorted ranks of white marble tablets. We drive
on through to Cabrillo Point and turn around. I say Let's go back to the
cemetery and read. There's a naval funeral just dispersing. I say we need
to be on the seaward side of the road and facing south. Just here is good.
We stop and wind down the windows. Tom has been playing perfect music and
continues to. He sits quiet beside me on and on. Flips through the Reader
but then just sits listening and looking at the day. A woman with flowers
is searching for a grave she can't find. All afternoon people quietly arrive
and stand looking briefly and leave. The number of cones with flowers by
the flat-markered, more recent graves along the edges of the field increases.
I read and sometimes look up and see the thick-headed dark green trees stirring
their leaves above the green and white and blue. The light changes gradually
on the blue-white marble. Then the sun has reached the bank of cloud along
the ocean's western rim. An even light, no shadows.
When the sun drops into the slot between cloud and rim, orange light
on the side of Tom's face and on the white marble, strong blue shadows among
the white ranks bending up the hill. I am feeling Tom's presence utterly
wonderful. We watch the last edge of orange arc drop out of sight. Tom looks
at the stones we can read from the road. Goodnight David Shaw, goodnight
Lewis Butler, goodnight Thomas Winslow Meredith.
As we're driving north home the city we see far below is bathed in milky
afterglow. By the time we're coming around the last curve from the airport
toward downtown it's half dark, still a sheen on the west sides of the towers
but the bands of yellow lights are strong. It's a moment of exquisite balance.
We drive up G Street. There's the train station. There's the park. I'm looking
for the palm I hugged. There's the palm you hugged says Tom. I was hugging
the palm because I was too proud to hug you, I say. I didn't understand
you, he says. You did the right thing as much as if you had understood me,
We pass the Golden West and look in the door at the desk. We drive through
crowds assembling for the Stones concert. Here's the mission. I come around
to the driver's side. Last kiss. I love you he says quietly, quietly in
Somewhere in the afternoon he said, We've earned our quiet pleasures
now. I was thinking that earlier, I said.
Last night Tom showed up at suppertime after his day setting up at the
Sheraton Harbor Island. He was in his black work clothes and was a self
I don't often see - the small-faced one who looks like a little Irish boy.
We sat in Claire de Lune having an evening with the quiet folk all in their
armchairs doing homework.
When I'd told my day's stories (Juliana's note) and he had told his and
we were driving back to the mission in the misty dark, he told me how it
was the night before when he'd come off work late and walked home along
the bay. The water was glassed off, there were people in the boats, a strong
moon. He had been thanking the cosmos for life, even going back to the squalor
and embarrassment of the mission he was so glad to be alive. He was saying
to himself, Ellie loves me, she has declared herself, so now I have to suit
up and show up.
It was my first experience living as I'd go on living - this way - alone
in a room. I worked so hard. I gave up Frank. I starved because I didn't
have enough food to take me through two weeks and I didn't want to go home
on weekends. I transferred my affection to anyone at all, so much affection.
I gave up religion. I was heading out. And I wasn't just a slogger, though
I was a slogger. I loved my clothes. I had good clothes. There are passages
in the journal where I'm feeling and articulating something quite abstract
and large, like the cube of darkness and the cone of light. But my letters
are silly, I didn't have any sense that my actual self was interesting enough.
They're forced. They're false. In the journal there are false notes but
fewer than at 14.
When I read my valedictory speech yesterday there was so sharp a stroke
of pain. I was surprised. Why was I suddenly feeling it so much? I was feeling
how alone I was and am. I was there in my room starving because my parents
weren't giving me enough money for food, slaving to make the difference
between 85 and 92% in seven subjects, staring at human inadequacy all around,
staring at the fact of death, mourning Frank, and having to find my own
way into a completely foreign next step.
As I stood beside the coffin of my little son
with my mind on anything but disputation, the minister read "If the
dead rise not again ..." I cannot tell you how inexpressibly they shocked
me ... I could have laughed with scorn. What! Because I am face to face
with irreparable loss I am to renounce my manhood, and, howling, grovel
in bestiality. Why the very apes know better.
Thomas Huxley quoted on The Sadducee Printouts
I haven't written anything about living together since he got kicked
out of the mission long ago last week. At eight o'clock I make his bed on
the roof and he kisses me goodnight. In the morning in the dark he comes
in the door and gets out his bags and bundles from their hiding places and
looks for things, like his hairbrush or glasses, that he can't find. At
this moment he must be shaving, there are little clicks from behind the
curtain. The coffee pot brumming on the hotplate. I'm drinking tea.
We're in a cold Santa Ana. No dew. Cold at night. Clear black sky. Brilliant
I've made him coffee and there he is in his little plaid boxers, kneeling
on the floor, zipping and unzipping his backpack.
He looks very glam in his construction worker boots and good haircut.
Maroon short sleeved teeshirt going on over dark blue longsleeved teeshirt.
Backpack being zipped again. Putting on his second sock. When he's naked
he's thin and old but here comes the fifty year old construction guy. He's
buckled on his jeans and now he's lacing his boots. Patting his back pockets.
Oh Ellie you're still a fool for boyish boys. He's touching his forehead,
looking at the floor thinking, puts spare batteries into his rear left pocket
(wallet in his right). Getting his good reversible vest out of the closet.
Rearranging what's in their top front pockets. Holding up his glasses examining
them. Standing in the closet looking for his other glasses.
Half an hour later. He's out the door. Hoping there's work today. If
he has a bad week he won't have money for a room. The vets' tent is opening
at the end of the week. He can go there. We sat on the couch staring at
the precariousness of his position last night, and then I opened the computer
and showed him 1959-60 Edmonton and then we watched the news.
When he was packing up his bed this morning he called me out to look
at the crescent moon over a desert sunrise behind Balboa Park's eucalyptus
and palms. The air is very cold.
After we turned off the TV last night I praised his immediacy and he
praised me back. I said, Tell me one thing you can be with me that you have
never been with anyone else. He said vulnerable. He meant that he lets himself
stammer out his take on things.
Sunday evening. Tom and I in a Starbucks near the vet tent. Wire fence,
security at the gate, two guys in yellow sweatshirts looking at IDs. He
looked drawn and ill. We sat uncomfortably in a Starbucks full of kids doing
homework. I told him what it's like working on Still at home and
saw he'd gotten pinker. He was interested when I said I've remembered icons
and when I read the stories I wrote at the time I see the difference between
them and the icon. I remembered that instant and forgot everything else.
Dreamed Frank gave me a big envelope very stuffed
with bulky things. When I opened it later there was a long letter, photos,
some pots and pans and a pile of folded fabrics I assumed were saris. The
photos were of him and me. They were beautiful. In the photos of him he
was standing naked. He had a beard. He didn't look as I remember him, better,
a different person. There was a photo of me at a concert, on the floor reaching
with a microphone. Others were at a steambath as if he took them when we
were there together and I had my eyes closed. I look like myself but they
are beautiful photos, black and white, very grainy. I look myself at my
There was a background feeling of a place, which was a place I've dreamed
Frank before, a dream years ago. That feeling of a tone of a place.
The sense of the dream was that it was his final goodbye present. He
was giving me everything he'd been protecting from me (sigh) through the
years. I mean holding onto.
Don't know why I sighed there.
Tragedy is the way people die before they die, it's the spoiling of the
beautiful spirit they are when they are young. Downfall.
That's what people should be learning to change. That has been my mission
that I've hung onto since I was a child.
That's what the journal was for.
San Felipe 27th
Silent morning. So silent I hear a fly - no it's a very distant beach
The trees in this wash are the color of sand.
Last night we had a hot fire Luke was proud of. He'd made the stone ring
and raked up the dried twigs in our tent yard into a heap and found two
thick logs of driftwood, and then later went up the hill and brought down
an armful of Jim's wood.
We sat together on his bed very pleasingly warm staring at the fire and
sometimes lying back and looking up at the stars, which had rotated a surprising
distance between six and nine. He's relaxing. Kvetching some about how I
used to be.
Two crows flew over just now, knocking.
There's the ocean a blue band so far out now that I can't hear it. I
love when it comes in at night and chuckles out of sight.
What I loved most yesterday was the way, just after dusk, dewfall brought
out the scent of one of these desert trees, an acrid spice, intoxicating.
One sharp little cheep.
The temperature at this moment is perfect. A subtle breeze. I'm writing
in sunglasses sitting up in my bed.
Sleeping in touch with night. I don't have much to say to the stars but
like to know they're there. And like the touch of the air.
The first night here I was awake a lot and tried looking at my vision,
the small marks and motions, and then suddenly formed into a yellow sunset
on an ocean I thought of as Greek. I am not able to sustain it. It closes
with a jerk when I add attention, try as if to focus on it.
Sleeping here, I have a substantial night. Things happen. The air is
eventful. It's cooler now. It's somehow warmer. There is a little cut to
the stream of new breath in my nose. Orion has traveled west and now Pegasus
is hanging over the ocean. That bright one is Sirius. The ocean has come
nearer, or it is far away and silent.
I am in my bed drinking tea. Luke I think is sitting on this bed drinking
What did I realize at night - how much I am scorning myself for being
ugly - for floundering in sand - for having grey dry hair - for having blubber
at my waist. When I talk to people like Brad and Lisa I'm watching whether
they are repelled. Subtly. And aware that watchfulness might be the real
reason they look away at something else.
Gulls are making a racket feeding on the ocean - there I get my new binocs
- no they're pelicans.
Last night when the fire was established, a deep bed of coals and some
big logs flaming on them, I said carefully to Luke that when he talks about
his large plan he sounds distanced and abstract, and that I thought there
is probably someone else [in him] who doesn't like the plan and wants to
do something else. He says yes that's probably so but he doesn't know how
to find out what it wants. I said, I know four ways to do it, straight off
the top, and would he like to try one. Yes. I got off the bed-foam and sat
on the sand by the fire so he could have the two ends for a chair dialogue.
Let him decide who the two persons are. Thinker and doer he said.
I was aware I wasn't quite ready for my role but I just moved from one
thing to another as prompted. I said, Begin as thinker and ask doer what
it would like to do. Doer says he just wants to do: he's exterior. He wants
to just be meeting situations. Doing what he's good at. Thinker says the
plan is important. He sounds so cut off, so thinky, dry, remote. When he
is in the doer position he reminds me of someone, he's beautiful, open,
feeling. I ask doer to look at thinker, say what he sees. He's surprised:
he says, You look tired. Thinker says rationally that he will try to accommodate
doer's "unique talents" but doer has to get with the mutual program.
Doer says unconvincingly that he will.
I'm thinking we haven't got to what doer wants to do so I ask him what
he's feeling. Sit so you can feel what you're feeling. He sits straighter.
He says he feels tight. Where? In his torso. Alright put all your attention
there. Breathe into it with a breath of small curiosity. He's silent, goes
away into it. Did anything happen? It's less tight. Alright just go into
what you're feeling and ask whether there's something you're wanting to
do. He's there silent on and on ... eventually I put more logs on the fire.
He turns to sit facing the flames.
After a while he says, You know, there's a third, too, it's a stone at
the bottom of a well, and it has taken the fire with it. It's very black
and shiny. When I say something about it being young he says, How did you
know it was young? "They generally are." He said it was surprisingly
young, an infant. Preverbal? No, not preverbal. Will it talk to you? No
it won't talk, it's just peering out of the darkness. It absolutely won't
talk. It's cold at the bottom of the well.
At this moment there is Luke writing in his red notebook.
After a while he lay down next to me, pulled his new red-blue-yellow
beach blanket over him and started to breathe as if he was asleep. He said
how beautiful the fire felt on his face.
When I went to bed, and this morning again, I was hearing a song. My
teacher --- --- ---, carry me home. It's Paul Simon. It was the way
I felt Joyce in me. Oh Joyce I am so sorry you aren't still somewhere to
talk to. To tell about how it is when I become you. How it was last night
was full and sharp. I was feeling this closeness to the core is what I have
been missing. This is the full self. I was looking at Luke with such love
and longing for the wellbeing of his spirit.