June 28, 2009

The Desert

Somehow, people find a way to live. Even in extreme weather, under untenable circumstances. The lightning comes to punch the earth, the rainstorms punish: and the people here exult. I've never seen a people so collectively shining for rain.

I feel very fortune-cookie-wisdom to say this, but I'm realizing that what I'm given I must celebrate. Not, perhaps, loved or rejoiced. Hearbtreak, for instance. The man who told me he missed me, then treated me like a lost thing. I know I needed to be lost, taken out to sea to wash up on another shore, somewhere they don't speak my language. I think he's found someone he wants to hold, and I think he's happy. And that makes me glad.

I can learn new tongues.

Yesterday, I sat with a friend for a long time, watching the sunset, drinking frozen dessert drinks: rootbeer liquor and ice cream and whip cream drizzled with chocolate wine sauce. The sky turned a cream color first, then aubergine and lavender and mauve. It was so big my heart wanted to break open. To empty what it's carried too long, to be filled vibrantly. My friend and I sat and cracked pistachios, talking about that strange quality of love whereby we are made new again. He was in a long relationship, yet this new man makes him feel like an explorer on an undiscovered continent.

A bird landed in his pool, flapping its wings, struggling. It gave up just as my friend netted him, lifting him safely out, speaking to him in the soothing tones of a father with bandage in hand.

The sky bloomed, the glow swam in the trees. We were quiet a long time. I didn't feel the threat in the world. I was happy then.

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