Mornings & Evenings
But the “feel” of a place takes longer to acquire. It is made up of experiences, mostly fleeting and undramatic, repeated day after day and over the span of years. It is a unique blend of sights, sounds and smells, a unique harmony of natural and artificial rhythms such as times of sunrise and sunset. - Space and Place – Yi-Fu Tuan
July 18: I've been thinking about the energy a place holds, how we create home spaces/nests, and how those spaces, even when empty, can feel stable or chaotic, safe or insecure...
September 17: I am here alone in my kitchen now, a month later. A cool sunny Saturday in September, with my coffee and toast. I am trying hard to breathe, trying hard to be, trying hard to focus, trying to hard to find my voice under a crushing and endlessly perplexing, unexpected grief. I stretch my hand out through a fog and reach nothing. There is literally no making sense of any of it.
January 15: I am simultaneously tired and energetic, calm and wired. My body and my brain are pacing; I'm finding myself wandering around the house, feeling like I need something, or maybe that I need to do something. Laundry? Bills? Tea? A snack? Maybe I should prep one of my classes? I did want to make a new presentation for my first lecture on Tuesday.... Or maybe I should make grocery list? Having food in the house is generally a good idea. I could unpack... or upload video clips from the trip home? Catch up on correspondence? Research? Read? Take some images? Organize my pile of notes? I'm not choosing very well. I've opened the fridge five times, finally settling on a piece of cheese which I ate standing at the counter. I stared at my tea shelf and even that seemed like an impossible decision. Laundry and bills feel like too much of a commitment at this hour.... maybe I just need to hang out with my cat and call it a night. I think I'll add some plain nettle tea and Susan Sontag to that plan and table the rest of it until the morning.
January 23: I am starting to be able to hear myself think. After so much being so suddenly and dramatically blown apart this past summer, I need this.
April 22: It’s quiet and rain is falling; it’s 10:30pm. I’m eating canned soup and bread; keeping it simple as I prepare to move. I think of a sentence from Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, where the interviewer comments that Irwin was good at “managing the sadness.” A minor detail in a book largely about visual perception but it lingered.
May 4. Fifth Night. I was yawning on the couch, ready for bed but the calm quiet of my apartment lulled me into thinking rather than sleeping. I am living in a place not defined by the palpable weight of absence and thus I am more able to be present. I sip my peppermint tea, my eyes burn from exhaustion and I listen to the rain falling. The quiet is no longer oppressive but welcome. I am tired and should sleep but am reluctant to break the spell. Purcell and then Couperin play softly on my computer as I type and I recall my love of the harpsichord. My mind wanders to my neighbor, the sweet mourning dove on her nest outside my window; I imagine her feathers puffed out in the rain.
Nov 8: We woke before dawn, the hazy light of early morning lingering outside and filtering through condensation on the glass. Conversation moved in and out of the surface. The sun slowly rose over the trees and the even light of this cloudy November morning filled the room with diffuse light. Coffee, eggs, cheerios, early morning partings. Left with about two hours of solitude, I turned off my phone and computer and made a cup of tea, a warm and bitter blend of roots. I took some photographs out my kitchen window, enjoying for the first time in a while the slow meditative process of looking through the ground glass of my film camera, my cat nudging her way in front of the lens, curious...
December 30: An even white light is filling my apartment, bright and clean from the many inches of snow reflecting through my space. It's quiet, I'm alone, and I'm enjoying breakfast and coffee. I haven't been finding the mental space to write recently and despite being late this morning, I'm choosing to make the time for what will be the last update of the year, knowing that it will be a few weeks before I find myself with the time. Another cup of coffee, and an attempt to suspend my task list for just a few moments...