The World That Lies Beyond

Breakfast and sunlight

Breakfast and sunlight

1 November 2013
8:56 am – 1:11pm

T. —

It’s been a busy morning, just constant movement. Getting up, feeding the screaming cat, making breakfast, starting work, marking essays, checking on the patient (Andrew is working from home today on my request — his cold is getting worse, and I think he needs at least today and the weekend to put it back on track to recovery), getting dressed just to feel efficient (even though I’m not going anywhere today), making lunch, checking the mail, finishing our November List, getting back to work, considering what I’ll write about, and then realizing I still haven’t written anything and I might be encroaching upon your evening post time. I will be more considerate about that this month.

Since the clocks went back this weekend, the evenings have been settling faster into darkness. The light doesn’t really last much past 4 or 5. When I left at 6pm to go out into the evening, it already felt like the middle of the night. I didn’t know exactly where I was going, and it felt like wandering around in the pitch black with no signs or path at all. As the Starks know, Winter is coming. But this morning, I realize how grateful I am for these last few weeks of morning light. The picture above, was breakfast, and I took it just before starting the post, with light shining in off the windows across the street.

Oh, and here’s lunch =):

Andrew's lunch, with green tea for better health

Andrew’s lunch, with green tea for better health

My lunch, with Andrew's penguin pyjama pants under the table

My lunch, with Andrew’s penguin pyjama pants under the table

Cheese on toast: a very British treat.


I’m writing a letter to my friend Nancy all about place, because I’m reading “A Book of Migrations” by Rebecca Solnit right now. Winter in Edinburgh always brings my mind two places: to Amsterdam, and to Savannah. The autumn of Amsterdam meant that we never quite lived there through the cold times, except for a brief visit last February when we met up for the weekend and stood on the thickly frozen canals. And the winter of Edinburgh also makes me long for the summer sun in Savannah, the yoga on the beach on Sunday mornings like a better kind of prayer, the dolphins swimming in the water just a few meters from my face.

These are the two places most immediately in my heart, even while Edinburgh is in my present. Savannah: the place of swamps and marshlands, of indiscernible boundaries, of graduated belonging and identification of intimacy. Where I learned to drive a stick-shift. Where I found my future, and my adult capacities. Sitting under the Live Oaks threaded with Spanish Moss like lace. Spending hours and days in the grass and the sky. And Amsterdam: the place where I learned about hardship and loneliness. The importance of maps, the necessity of enacting and living the maps. The organization of foreign knowledge. The impossibility of an outside language. The space and breadth of the world that lies beyond my known boundaries.


I am definitely liking these November exercises already. Let’s absolutely put them up on a separate page, and invite our visitors to join in with us, leave us comments with their own reflections? Maybe you can explain more about the project in your evening letter. I’m going to quickly get back to work.

Good morning!



One thought on “The World That Lies Beyond

  1. I’m always in envy and in awe of your places. I know you have mentioned your desire for roots, but oh, to have the opportunity for wings.


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