She no longer knows where she is — believing herself to be back in her homeland, whence she fled from the Nazis many years ago, and yet hoping to return to the United States at some point. A younger, dear acquaintance of hers — my age, about — was visiting with her recently, in the New England home she used to share with her late husband and their two sons (now middle-aged — one has come back to help care for her). She said to this acquaintance, “So when are you returning?” “Soon” (a gentle lie). “Oh!” said my friend, with a deep longing — “oh! How I wish I could go with you!”
Archive for October, 2010
When I was 21 or 22, and living in Chicago in my post-college confusions and miseries, I asked my friend Ann (an artist) a question that perhaps would have been more appropriate coming from someone much younger than myself. I asked her when she had known — known — that what she felt for her partner was love. She was driving us both to work, at the leftie newspaper. Ann thought about it, then said she could remember the exact moment when she knew: they were on a hill, in some grassy place, it was getting dark, and Ann suddenly perceived her girlfriend to be surrounded by light — a softness.
This description made a deep impression on me: without consciously thinking about it, I waited — for years and years — for the time when I would see that light myself. Now I see it every day. I can’t imagine asking for anything more.
The Giants will play the Phillies this afternoon, in Game 6 of their thrilling National League championship series. My heart hurts — okay, mostly because someone very dear to me is very ill — and I choose to think, when I can, of baseball. There is another game today, and no one knows who will win. Regardless, the world will keep spinning. But a tiny, conscious part of the universe will wonder whether young Jonathan Sanchez can shut down Philadelphia’s scary lineup of professional hitters. And will take solace (and, all right, feel pain) in the waitingness of the moments between pitches, between innings — in the interstices when the inevitable, whatever that is, is delayed, doesn’t exist, won’t ever happen, when no one dies, even though we will, and do. At this point in my own life I want to live in those moments, but at least really live, not curl up in tacit retreat.
Oh, and the fucking midterms!
Thank goodness for Rachel Maddow, is all I can say. And go Giants. And loved one, you are dearly loved.