Thursday, December 9, 2010
In this alone
I had the peaceful thought yesterday of turning this house into a public library and retreat for readers, writers, and artists. A stove, a sink, and on the way to it stacks and shelves of books, little tables with books on them and drawings, commonplace curious sculptures of function and form, a cup, a spoon, a pen, a rug — no way in or out except to be lost. And I had to ask myself if that is not indeed what I am in the process of doing, if I am not simultaneously building and opening my door with each word I write and picture I draw, with the books I bring home into shadows that move and groan as one glad ghost to another.
To love the room one is in so well that it becomes both vessel and voyage — to drift freely from one dream to another, through conversation that outlives its speakers, through storms of language forged in flame and hammered into use against bright anvils — that is how I feel when I am sitting here, and how I feel when I have been away for any length of time, even if only to fetch the mail from our box across the street.
Either nothing is real or everything is. I do not, will not, and cannot set dreams here and reality there as if they were so much firewood. I have neither the power nor the inclination to draw sure lines between fact and fiction, reason and make-believe. This hand of mine that reaches out to you might well pass through your bones into another realm. I accept this not as truth, but as possibility. In this alone there is cause for joy.
There is wisdom in these rooms — not because it is in me or because I have put it here, but because a bit of it is in everything we fashion and everything we know, and because wisdom is so willing to give us a second chance.
When the house is alone, it dreams. I know, because it has told me so.
“In this alone” is my newest Notebook entry. Old notes are archived here.
12.9.2010 #1 (first publication)