Good morning darling. I wanted to put my arms around you and tell you how pleasant it's been to lie in bed just now, slowly waking up, taking my time. Soft gray morning, peaceful. I lie in bed stretched out, light quilt tucked up to my neck, the perfect weight. Birds outside the windows sing, incidental asides befitting a becalmed morning. The fan whirs overhead, pale curtains against drawn shades pleasantly stir. It's soothing to gaze at the graceful swaying folds. Delicious still hour and I can linger. My body aches but I put that thought aside. I savor instead the sensation of the length of my body, curves smooth down the line, skin soft, limbs extended. My thoughts tangle, spar, compete for attention, demanding their second's due. I put them aside. I rest. My breaths are calm and even. The curtains lightly move and I think of you, asleep so far away.
Dominique Browning writes of listening to the peal of sonorous church bells while she was in Santa Fe the other day. I remember how much I used to enjoy the carillon bells at college, joyous midday concerts that rang out over campus as I returned to the dorm for lunch, or headed out for a class. She spent a year there too, I read. I'm sure she recalls those bells, and the presiding Gothic tower. I climbed to the top of it once, with my friend Nicole I think. We squeezed our way up the narrow winding stairs to the space at the summit, and looked out over the bright sonorous world, paisley autumn colors ablaze all around.
I once read that the writer Margaret Drabble (I believe it was her) is impatient with the notion of family members severing relations with one another when, after all, we will all die one day, in due course cut off for good. It's hubris to thus metaphorically kill off relatives - redundant and untimely "double deaths," I believe she deemed such estrangements. On a brisk, no-nonsense, resolutely unempathetic level she is correct, of course. I don't disagree with her. And yet - that's how it happens. Self-preservation. There isn't always love, or even like, among family members. There are people I once loved, or wanted to, and no longer. I have crossed to the other side on that, and am better off for it than with longing for love when it was simply not to be had. It was not there to be had. In no mood to go back.
And then there's someone whom I haven't seen in decades, whom I love dearly, who is closest of all to my heart. Ironic. I can't explain it.*
I think of E.D. and her intimate family relationships. Over time there were disagreements, misunderstandings, feuds even, yes, but it also seems that throughout their lives they mattered to one another. They remained close as though they understood that one day they would never see one another again. Or did they think they would? Perhaps because they believed they wouldn't they cherished so deeply in this life. For eternity, E.D. desired union with her Master.
I lie alone in bed, thinking of ghosts, and loving you.
*Postscript. I couldn't explain it not for lack of words, but because I didn't understand. But I received an eloquent page hit this morning, which speaks to me - offers an answer. It's from Birkenhead, Cheshire, United Kingdom, landing on my archived blog via the search engine phrase - morgan freeman i am the keeper of my soul.
I am the keeper of my soul. Yes - that is it.