into stillness

Summer days in the country have a palpably still spaciousness, as if I’ve waked up inside an Edward Hopper painting. As if I might scream at my very loudest and, standing beside myself, never hear it.

The thud of a bird against the window-glass jolts a hole in the silence for a moment, but I find the stillness oozing back to a seamless smoothness with the striped lizard which curves around the edge of the bricks outside the window.

The little dog snores gently in her bed.

They tell me that when I was a tiny child, I stood defiant beside an open desk drawer, absolutely refusing to reach out my hand and push the drawer closed.

Today I’ve been sitting defiantly with the fifty-six pages of thesis, absolutely refusing to reach out my hands and write more pages.

It takes a certain degree of defiance to begin upon such a project, and different sort of defiance to finish it. Today has only a passive defiance, insufficient for accomplishment.

And so I left the thesis, pinned up my curls, slipped into my purple Crocs and took myself around the still pond.

Three deer rustled away into stillness.

A white heron stood still on the far side of the pond, but I found a still, white feather on my side of the pond, on the ground where hundreds of tiny toads hurried away from my feet, just rippling the stillness.

I trudged through thick sunshine back to the stillness of the thesis, the clear space in which thoughts stand utterly alone, though side by side.

I mustered up my defiance, reached out my hands, wrote this.

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