Yesterday I was happy all day long. It’s the first day I’ve been happy in nearly 7 weeks, since I got that terrible call from dear Katie, about our precious Grace. After seven weeks in the terrible dark, a happy day is almost blinding.
It helps that I slept the night before — I haven’t been sleeping at all, though I’ve had a few nights of uneasy sleep, anxious sleep, scared sleep. But I slept from 11pm to 7:30am, a long luxurious sleep. Undoubtedly that set me on a good path for the day.
And then there was a cloudburst; nothing big, not big enough to register with the weather service, but big enough in my neighborhood to give me 20 minutes or so of pure pleasure. I sat with my French doors open, listening to the rain splashing on the dry crunchy leaves, breathing in that delicious smell of rain hitting dry dirt, and then listening to the rain dripping from the trees and the eaves of the house. The air smelled so sweet, that ozone smell that fills the air after a rain. I had a couple of phone calls with clients, a day filled with work, and it felt just fine to be me, in my new life.
Partly what helped was that Katie and I figured out how to arrange the couch in my living room, so even though it’s completely empty except for the couch, I can now “see” the rest of the pieces that will fill the space. I can now “see” it as the comfortable, cozy space it will be. I’m trying to organize a poetry group here, since it was one of my favorite experiences in New York, and so far 12 people have indicated interest so I’m looking at my imaginary living room and imagining it filled with people talking about poetry. Perhaps a meeting of a book club. People talking about things I love, in my own cozy home. Temma and I once talked about having a salon, and maybe I can do that here. I never could invite people into our apartment in New York, partly because my husband saw patients in our apartment and the arrangement of the rooms made evening company impossible. Also, and more importantly, I never felt like the place was mine, it certainly never looked like me, or felt like my own place, so I’m especially looking forward to having people in my new home. To good conversation, to an open bottle of wine, and to that specific kind of pleasure in my place.
Also, partly what helped was another day of not having to run around and do things, buy things; another day of just sitting with myself, another day without some big terrible thing happening. Man, I just need some more of those!
And my day ended so sweetly, with a nighttime walk in my neighborhood, which is lit up with Christmas lights:
Today will be another day like yesterday (though there might not be rain….) — but most importantly, a day spent with myself, in the quiet, just living my life. I cannot seem to get enough of those.
Thursday Katie and I plan to go out shopping for my living room, and I finally look forward to that. I’ll work on Saturday and/or Sunday, but one night of the weekend I want to go to south Austin to see the Zilker Christmas tree, which is 155 feet tall. The fun thing to do is stand underneath it and spin around while looking up, making yourself dizzy. The last time I went, they had hot chocolate and carolers, and I hope they still do.
So, much to look forward to. Plenty of work. The pleasure of good coffee in a quiet morning. A day of work, a day without tragedy. Something good for dinner, something I make for myself. And fun in the days to come. Home-making in the days to come. Conversations with friends, time to reflect and maybe even to read (I hope! I hope!). Time one of these days to start getting out and remembering my old friend Austin.
Thanks for holding me up, y’all — you can relax your grip a little now. I’m OK.