At the heart of things there is sweetness, and also the thistles of whatever mess we least expect. At the heart of things there is motion, continual and turbulent, or tremulous and shallow. At the heart of things there are veins and rivers: sap, blood, water, tears. And also the deep pulmonary channels of longing and belonging, and these things spread in a wide, wide filigree of wonder out from my very core.
At the heart of things, each day brings something new. One day I wake up hungry, and I eat a peach, the juice dripping down my wrists. I follow the rivulets with my tongue; lick what remains, and feel satisfaction fill me. Or I tell T to get oysters, and when he brings home a dozen, I find the sharpest, smallest knife we have and pry them open, eating them straight-up, with a little lemon, their wildness still fresh on my tongue, salt water, and tides all there.
Other days I wake up hungry, and there is no morsel of stone fruit, no bread, no sea-filled oysters that will fulfill the kind of craving that begins in my solar plexus, and causes a stirring for which I have no words. At the heart of things there are days where I feel like a wild horse bucking against whatever lasso that’s been tossed, claiming some small loop of life as mine, and on days like that I drive to work playing the same mix on repeat, songs with big drums pounding and the windows open, and then I try to make sense of the way life seems always to be simultaneously and beautifully falling apart and falling together.
At the heart of things, I like the quiet. I crave an empty house, the way it is tonight. T is on a trip this week, and now, at the end of August darkness already comes by 8:30 and the crickets are calling and calling, a tremolo of knowing what it is they know: that things end, begin, end. And at the heart of things, I like the sound of cities after dark, where all the wildlife is human, and when the day ends, a different kind of living starts.
At the heart of things there is a spark. The inkling that occurs before the action, the glint before the flame, the breath before the whisper, the rustle of wings before they lift off in flight.
I’m at the heart of things. Doing many things. Trying to remember to show up, to record this intensity. To be right here, and also to breathe.