7 August 2013
10: 32 pm
Is it really August? I want to ask. Is August leaking out slowly already, week by week? Is August already designated into pockets of space and time, into allocations and allowances? Is there room for flexibility? Any room for alterations?
I will not catch the cold that is going around because I am careful, because I am going to bed early, because I feel immune. I wanted to write a letter to you as soon as I come home. But then I drank tea, had dinner, took a shower, finished reading The Charming Quirks of Others. Ended a 8 hour rehearsal and a 2 hour show (which was actually extra: I didn’t have to do it tonight, but Edinburgh in August is a busy time for performance). I wanted to write a section of a letter to Rachel I’ve been trying to write since Monday. I wanted to reply to emails. But then I remembered: I am strong and capable and centered and calm because I go to bed early, because I allow myself the space to acknowledge: not everything has to come right now. It doesn’t all have to be finished. It is a process, this life, and the process includes the end of this day. Even this: Rest, sleep, temporary incompleteness.
She plans to be a writer one day and live in the City of Paris,
Where she will describe the sun as it rises over Buttes-Chaumont.
“Today the dawn began in small pieces, sharp wedges of light
Broke through the clouds.” She plans to write better than this
And is critic enough to know “sharp wedges” sound like cheese.
She plans to live alone in a place that has a terrace
Where she will drink strong coffee at a round white table.
Her terrace will be her cafe and she will be recognized
By the blue-smocked workers of the neighborhood, the concierges,
The locals at the comptoir of the tabac down the block,
And the girl under the green cross of the apothecary shop.
She plans to love her apartment where she will keep
Just one flower in a blue vase. She already loves the word apart-
Ment, whose halves please her when she sees them breaking
The line in her journal. She plans to learn the roots
Of French and English words and will search them out
As if she were hunting skulls in the catacombs.
On her walls she’ll hang a timetable of the great events
Of Western History. She will read the same twenty books
As Chaucer. Every morning she will make up stories….
She looks around her Brighton room, at the walls,
The ceiling, the round knob of the rectangular door.
She listens to the voices of the neighbor’s children.
A toilet flushes, then the tamp of cigarette on steel,
The flint flash of her roommate’s boyfriend’s lighter.
When she leaves she plans to leave alone, and every
Article she will carry, each shoe, will be important.
Like an architect she will plan this life, as once
The fortune in a cookie told her: Picture what you wish
To become, if you wish to become that picture.