Returning to work is always difficult after a stretch of quiet. It’s like surfacing suddenly in the white water of a familiar river. And often there are moments of doubt – of confused orientation – of not recognizing the mechanisms of my own limbs. It takes so much effort to push down again, to fight the buoyancy and the tendency to get carried away.
It takes effort to seek the stillness underneath it all, where time slows down and there is a full space between each heartbeat. Where I trust myself and am secure, all the while knowing that safety is an illusion. Where I feel the cold, deep currents moving around me and through me – and I am simultaneously less solid and more substantial.
I run in darkness now – either in the early mornings are after work. And I miss taking photos along the route. It isn’t the photos themselves, but the function of photography as a tool for noticing. Appreciating. Instead I listen: the rattle of the dog’s tag on the leash, our footfalls in an odd kind of syncopation, approaching bicycle tires on the gravel, the blackbird sweeping over the dead leaves.
I inhale attentively and try to put a kind of frame around the wet smells of the earth, the sharp smells of the rusting metal of the old train tracks.
On my way to work I pass the adult daycare center and through the window see a man and a woman dancing. She is maybe 30, and her enthusiasm heavy. His age is impossible to guess, his joy expressed only in a pinch between his left eye and the left corner of his mouth. She lifts his arms for him. I can’t hear what she is singing.
I feel a cold current moving with the wind.
Posted in: Journal