The great sufferings are upon me — they come when the stars are heavy with debt & chalk lines of ancestors are crumbling in mind & outstretched hands — when an unseen history grabs you by the throat throttles the bars of the nervous system designed to defend against a sweeping avalanche of childhood wrongs. My protector — bless him — remains at his post like that Japanese soldier you learned about as hope began to dwindle. You are still an island, bayonet in hand waging a war long deceased except for the glitch in the mind, a software programme ready to take the fight to all comers who have no idea what you’re saying. Then, with relief, you remember it’s all happening to a character within a dream who for a moment became unglued while you, the watcher, exist eternally free from harm.
In equatorial temperatures of vast summer walkers take to the pavements unsure sheltering outside by the old house under great fans of elm & bent oak listening for water while sun rains down alone. We straddle too many worlds for months happy orchids praying for heat soon wilting & wishing we hadn’t wished at all — the old human story of the grass is greener. Then we get what we want only to discover it is not what we wanted only what we thought. Weather is just one topic but you could play the same tune on any set of keys — iniquities of the mind a plague on all our houses, while a winter hand walks over a piano, as Rilke says, cold & heavy ‘as if plowing through deep drifts of snow’.
We are both remnant & spawn of another season evidence littering the house in ghosts of the past — photographs dried flowers, the careful way a napkin is folded, a glass put away. How we do this or that pulls on invisible threads even cold stone hearts, then the warmth of a solitary blaze. The mystery can hit you hard in a moment of stopping or new trauma that resurrects the past. We owe so much but cannot see or simply forget, recall only hardship sorrow & bitter stings when all is upheld by great clouds of unknowing quietly taking on our debt.