Wednesday, September 18, 2013

inebriari marzenia

  Time held me green and dying
       Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
--Dylan Thomas

I remember sitting on the floor of that snug little garret bed room. 
Although, I think a garret is supposed to be a little inglenook-ish room at the top of the house, an attic dwelling for attic dwellers. 
But our room was in the basement.
Or, lower-level, as they say in London.
There was a basement proper, beneath the lower ground floor, which I discovered one evening after we returned home from the pub, and I set my mind incontrovertibly to explore the mysterious staircase behind the elevator. 
And the basement was perfectly charming, in a Morlockian sort of way.
But anyhow. 
Our room could not technically be called a garret.

Our room was an inverse-garret. 

Our little inverse-garret was actually quite spacious, with a cavernously high ceiling, full of light. Full of warm sun streaming through our tall window during the day, and the mystic radiance of streetlight shining through during the night. 
It was evening, so the streetlights shone in on me as I sat like a small little lump, floating on the sea of shiny-new, squeaky-clean hardware floor. 
It was so fresh, and untouched by all the stories old floors have absorbed into their creaky planks.
I sat, swaddled in leggings and sweatshirts, trembling a little like the nascent green leaves on the tree outside the window. 
The mystic streetlamp light wasn't as warm as the sunlight, and the faux maple-wood floor lacked the warm glow that its color seemed to project.
Thus, the sweatshirts, even though it was almost May.

My hands reached up to hide my face, as sobs filled my lungs, and tears darted out of the leaks my eyes had sprung.
My roommate, with her Irish complexion, and silky brown curls, wrapped my in her arms and said i love you.
And I found there the warmth the floor had lacked.

And somehow, consecrated by receiving such a sweet thing as love, as I look back on those tears, I cannot count them as anything but Joy.
Which is strange, because at the time, they were sorrow.
And there it is.
I keep trying to keep tallies of a Sorrows and Joys column, but I find that the dichotomy I wish I could impose just doesn't fit. 
Like a reckless new wine, Life bursts all the old molds into which I wish I could form it.
And when I thought of the tears of the Pietà, on Sunday, the day of the Pietà, I thought of those tears that burst out of me on an April night in my inverse-garret room.
And I wondered if one day Mary looked back and her Sorrow had deepened into Joy.
You have to use the word deepened.
It couldn't have been erased, and it couldn't have been countered.
There is no answer with Sorrow. 
Maybe you just have to treat it like a June peach, and keep it in a paper bag until July.
In the silence of the brown bag and through the magic gift called: "passage of time," the peach, which was as first as hard and unappetizing as its pit, as sweetened into the most glorious of all fruits. [Besides just-ripe enough mangoes. Mangoes are luscious. voluptuous. tantalizing. If I had been in Eve's shoes, and offered a just-ripe enough mango, I don't know that I could have chosen any differently.]
The point being, mangoes and peaches, with time, ripens.
And when you bite into it, it doesn't warp your tongue, as bitter as wormwood, but explodes into an ecstasy of sweetness.


And then, there's that moment when something that is a joy has sat in the silence of your heart for so long it has over-ripened. It doesn't diminish the Joy. But notes of sorrow and aching and longing have somehow crept in, immeasurably deepening the Joy, but giving it such a sad aftertaste.
Joy, I suppose, is never static. Because the longer it remains with you, the more incomplete it grows. There's a missing piece whose very absence is a sweetness, but one that makes tears rush into your eyes.
It is such a sweet and sorrowful joy to miss someone and some place and some time.
It is a joyful sorrow to ache for completion, and still be incomplete.
Sorrow and Joy; Joy and Sorrow.

Life keeps defying the dichotomies I would impose on it.

there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.
--Sarah Kay


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