The Weight We Give Things

It’s a quiet morning from the perspective of the world. I haven’t heard a bird calling. Leonard is still sleeping, which is odd. What few sounds may have normally filled the house are drowned out by the white noise of my little space heater. Winter came suddenly. Soft at first with the fat snow flakes, then hard as the black ice that covers the street Leonard and I normally walk in the mornings. If our driveway has ice in the shadow of the holly bush, I know not to take the normal route. I dress like a toddler when the weather is like this. Padded pants and mittens. And if no one is looking, my snowsuit, which was the best four hundred crowns I ever spent at a farming supply store. Maybe the best four hundred crowns I ever spent anywhere. Practical is a kind of freedom that is new to me. A door opening, a gust of fresh air.

Or on a still morning like this, wading into a clear pool.

I’ve eased out of bed this morning and made the mistake of reading the news before sitting down to write. I guess our morning walk and then my run will be all about shaking it off. Jack Kornfield says “After the Ecstasy the Laundry”. But there is also the question of after the Compassion… what then? I suppose it is akin to the obligation we feel to hold on to grief. To “hold a space” for the pain. And there is the guilt we may have when we find ourselves laughing during a period of a new loss.

I remind myself of the obligation to acknowledge the wholeness of the world. I can put down the conceptional understanding of things happening halfway around the world, and I can appreciate the nuzzling of a dog’s snout insisting on breakfast, my husband’s footsteps approaching as he comes in to sit in the chair beside me, drinking his coffee while I write.

Heading out now for a run. I’ll be quiet turning near the edge of the lake. I’ll be listening for the ducks, who invariably laugh just before dawn.


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