How deep, this river . . .

[of the morning, 9 October 2018]

I actually did get caught this time.

There I was in my truck making a U-turn in the parking lot and edging close to the CBU (central box unit) of a certain apartment complex, and—shame on me—as I was turning a 180 with my knee and left palm, kinda spinning the wheel around just right and feeling the centripetal and centrifugal forces working, I was also looking at my phone.

And then when I stopped at the boxes and pulled my chain-tethered key from my pocket and inserted it into the one lock that opens all the boxes at once, I began to weep. Really weep. For a variety of reasons. A very small variety, actually. Only one, truthfully.

Can a variety be only one thing?

Can a river run so deep, that it is deeper than you ever thought possible?

Can it flow and fall, and yet be calm at once?

Can the rush of the current leave you breathless, it is so deep and swift?

And then can that same current return your breath to you full and rich with life-giving air?

Can you immerse yourself in the river and hope that you plunge ever deeper, never ever returning to the surface where you once stood? 

I am weeping and turning the key and pulling the doors open and swinging them to either side and grabbing all the mail, a bundle of flats and a double handful of letters. The mail is heavy today because of the holiday after a weekend, and the machines that sort it all run 24/7 so it is 3X heavy. And I am weeping, and not wiping my eyes or my nose as I fill each box appropriately and the older woman walks up, and I free up one of my hands so I can wave to her. Wave her away, I am thinking because it is a very private weeping, but she sees it as a welcoming gesture which is also true. And I have no hands left so I did get caught this time. She has seen me weeping, and somehow she knows to be gentle as she watches, waiting for her mail.

I turn to her as she walks to my window to chat, and I look away, toward the mail and the boxes, but she can tell. I read it in her tone. I gather her mail for her and hand it to her so that she will not have to fumble for her key after I have left, moving further along on Shade. She speaks softly to me a thank you, and her voice is full of sympathy and careful concern, and I suppose she thinks I am sad, but I am not.

It is not sadness, not sadness here in this parking lot by these boxes tethered to me by a chain from the lock to my pocket. There is too much joy in this river to have sadness, even currently. Perhaps it is a sort of melancholy. I know there is such a thing because I have heard a melancholy serenade more than once, but IHNI really.

Morning, 10 October 2018:

I wrote those words last night, late, sitting in Dad’s chair and had in my mind to bring them into resolution, as a melancholy serenade that ends on a nice, major chord, extended into a glorious finale that resounds as long as you wish.

But I fell asleep with my hands still on this keyboard. More than once I have done that and it is a good thing that my fingers did not wander in my sleep during those times, wander up to the blue “Publish” button. It makes me smile to think of the possibilities of having done that. Instead, I woke up long, long after midnight (early, early this very morning), saved the draft, and just before I closed my computer and trudged to my bed, well . . .

Dear God, how is it that immediately, immediately! I was reminded of my own words here: Early morn’ I shall not mourn.?

Deeper still that river flows, and more beautiful ever. 

And once again it is early morn’ and I admit I am smiling with a tear or two, three I think, and I can hear only the tick-tock of one clock that I keep wound. For now, I keep that spring wound so that I am reminded of something like time passing, but I know that as it seems to pass, it does not. It is a circle, a loop, interwoven, intertwined, deeply connected. Moments remain forever and a day, until days are no more. And still, they remain.

And I can stop that clock any time I want.

But the flow of our river, our river so deep, shall never end.

Photograph “River Deep, Source Above” ©2018 Timothy Waugh