Only last Sunday was I able to describe it, the tenuous but very real sense of light energy, a quiet and friendly electricity lighting up shadows and outlining edges. A friend was describing her son approaching driving age and I remembered: expectation, playing cool, the kind of joy you can’t let on for knowing it could be scared off and even then not much worry of that. To remember imagining the car, the little piece of paper with your picture laminated on it, the keys that were literal freedom coming to your hand: even twenty-plus years later the long moment’s presence shines through.
Mornings can be dissociative for me: waking from a black sleep to a black room and a disconnection from time and space. Do I have a test I was supposed to study for? Are cartoons on? Then enough light or time’s shape comes and I know where I am now, and my soul takes on gravity. But not these past weeks. I have woken to a porous blue light that invites waking up to peek around corners to see, to be quiet and wake no one, to get a bowl of cereal and turn the TV on low so the magic isn’t overwhelming. Or to lie in bed and imagine spaceships, ancient rivers, glaciers playing millennium chess. It’s more like college than elementary, maybe high school when all the black affect burden is dispensed with. Morning is compressed expectation, quiet giddy business, preparation before launch.
Not grabbing for it has helped, I think. Better to coax it, to watch out of the corner of my eye and not look directly at it. I’m happy with it peeking around the corners, half-out of the subconscious space-time continuum it can leap back to. No quick moves, just have your heart stand still. It will beat much better without churning all that worry. It’ll come out when it’s ready.
I gave or got few rides to school. The bus was ponderous, full of yelling kids and the back seats reserved for serious country thugs. The car was freedom, big idling leaded-gas freedom with an AM Philco radio and manual slushbox. Once you had a car it might as well have been the Space Shuttle. I’m really going now. Putt putt vrooooommmm.
Now I am playing no games, rushing to nowhere, doing nothing important, happy to see people. Something I don’t realize I’m carrying is coming off and breaking away, and what is there is what I always had, long-necked and full of grace, ready to leave the forest dark for rolling meadow sun.