Wednesday, December 14, 2011


5:30 AM and I rise, unable to sleep. What a lovely watch to keep. I’m thinking about the story I read last night: Paul Yoon’s “The Woodcutter’s Daughter,” about his glimmering fictional island off the southern coast of South Korea, and about how tender both good love and good fiction are. I’m thinking about my daughter, asleep in the room adjacent to mine, and with what passion she lives and breathes, and how helpless I am in the face of that passion—how it is hers alone to own. I’m thinking of T, asleep for a few moments longer, and the arcs of melody that must weave their way through his dreams. I’m thinking of this small one inside me, size, I am told, of a turnip, and how I cannot wait to know its name, its shape, the color of its eyes, its yearnings. Thinking, also, how I cannot imagine being mother to anything more than I am already, for having the capacity to give, or love, more. And so I think about how it will rain tomorrow, or the next day, melting the thin membrane of white snow that covers the earth and grass and trees and gardens outside our door. I think about the things I will make today: bread, preserves, soup. The thing I wish I could make today: a new story. I think about how the light settles so beautifully on these hills in December, how the sky weaves itself between leafless trees, how our bodies settle willingly into winter. I think about gratitude, which is everything and of which there is never enough. And then I hear a rustling, and footsteps. Terry Tempest Williams’ mother told her, before she died, that she had never had enough solitude in her life. It’s a line and a sentiment I’ll never forget. Gratitude and solitude and love—the great weaving. The footsteps approach. A sliver of light rises from between the pines in the east. Hello you. Hello light. Hello world. And me? Until tomorrow’s restless morning.