i A death in the afternoon
They are lying in the hissing grass on a gauze green day above dappling sun mist. The past behind them like healed grazes on a flawless skin, a picnic together, an unknown future shining.
Winged beast am I in mortal sandwich.
Crunching darkness implodes. Reddish light. I bite.
I am wingless rising up to incredible light.
A faint echo below.
“There was a bloody bee in the lunchbox. I’ve bitten it. It’s bloody well stung me”
Eternity buzzes at me.
Bite versus bite, I am in effortless flight.
A free bee.
ii What to write?
Blue spots. I think they were called full stops once. Lines and squiggles called words. And I – sat here, in a room of friends and strangers, and the not-knowing that comes from that. Yet I am so full of words, overflowing at times, when I get going, so to speak.
I teeter along this line of knowing and not-knowing like the man in the film who walked the high wire between two skyscrapers in New York. Did you see that film? The drop was awesomely unimaginable. More unimaginable than the still point, but he was never still. Like Rilke he was circling and circling. And so I circle. Words that are only ever an approximation at best of anything I really want to say. Yet I am in love with them. Is it possible to love and be light, to land lightly, to balance and rebalance, to find the point of stillness here, now for whatever wants to arise, for the simplicity of that which emerges?
The film finished and he did it. He crossed the gap with all that space beneath his feet; he crossed and the story never ended and he was written about in books and feted and even this film was made about him. Speaking about how we all wobble around the still centre, balance and rebalance, live, settle, love, get over the unimaginable.
So what was I trying to say with these approximations of reality? It was something about the blue spots. I think they call them full stops.
Generations ago, someone sawed the legs in half.
Lower. Easier for breastfeeding the baby they said.
She had bought it a new red cushion. Shiny satin.
Comfier to sit on, they said.
She had polished it, lovingly, using only pure beeswax.
No noxious fumes for the baby they said.
She practised sitting on it, imagining the swollen kicking mass that was her belly as a sweet suckling infant.
Good to get more rest they said.
The baby was born dead. She wept. She felt like her heart had been sawn in half.
The low chair, the nursing chair wept with her, tears trapped in beeswax.