Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Moon is a Faithless Lover

In the end, there is nothing but the pure neutrality of stillness. I taste the ash, I wither in the salt, and I rot with the roses in the compost. You take a story - Hansel and Gretel, say - and trace it back and back, fire by fire, season by season, a thousand years, ten thousand years, and where do you end up? The Man without Shoes becomes the man for whom the moon is a faithless lover, and so he begins at last the rituals of grief that will guide him beyond dying. We are prayerless who have no father, and fatherless who have no prayer. Notice how the violets are not pursuing anyone, how they are not hoarding sunlight or rain, how they have no favorite book or psalm. The argument at last passes and my poverty clarifies to an exquisite degree. Cheerful at low intensity, I carry a cup of coffee into the barn and sit on a bale of hay by the window. The horses are quiet, the neighbor's sheep are quiet, and the chickens are quiet. The world, my love, is quiet. Of this alone am I allowed at present to speak.

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