two years, two weeks, ago

from this
to this overnight

dear hilary,

In TinkerCreak, Dillard writes how her exploring/looking is her "leisure as well as her work."  She says that it is a "fierce game she has joined because it is being played anyway."  Like motherhood, I think. (I grab at any new description.)  Being Ives' mum seems like a fierce game.  A game in which the "pay offs, which may suddenly arrive in a blast of light at any moment" are generally, instead, invisible and internal.  In the light blasts: his waking, his speech, his shoulders.  He touches his forehead to the table when Thom prays before we eat.  Like a prostrating muslim.  He holds both our hands and says amen.  I wonder what he is learning.  I hope that ceremony matters, that eating is done in communion, that within a day there are times of pause - breaks in sight.  It is hard to know - the fierce game is a long one.

all my love, nikaela

A collaboration with Julie Pointer

Nikaela: pentax k1000, California, November, 2013
Julie: pentax k1000, Oregon/Sauvie Island, 2014
"But thinking of her life was another thing.  Lying there in that room in that house in that quiet town she could choose what her life had been.  The others were there.  The world was there, evening and morning.  No matter what anybody thought, no matter if she only tagged after them because they let her.  That sweet nowhere.  If the world had a soul, that was it.  All of them wandering through it, never knowing anything different or wanting anything more."

- M. Robinson, Lila.

"It was October when the child began stirring.  [...] She was clearing away leaves when she felt the child move.  She said 'Well, child!' I been waiting on you.'  The sun was brightly mild.  There was the crisp sound of maple leaves just ripe enough to fall, and leathery oak leaves that would cling until the wind took them, and the smell from the fields of all the life that had burned through all those crops until it spent itself down like a fire."

-M. Robinson, Lila.

"I heard the heartbeat today and it sounded like someone hammering beside the sea."

-Rebecca Elson

“She’d never thought before how strange a cornfield can look so late in the year, all the stalks dead where they stand. The country had always just been work waiting to be done. Now she saw the dim shine of sunlight on the leaves, and how the stalks were all bent one way, the tops of them. The wind had bent them and then left them rigid, with their old tattered leaves hanging off them. But it was as if they had all heard one sound and they all knew what it meant, or were afraid they did, and every one of them waited to hear it again, to be sure, every one of them still with waiting. She said, ‘It don’t mean nothing,’ speaking to the child. ‘It’s the wind.’ ”

-Marilynne Robinson, Lila.

"A fine hanging apple
in love with your stone,
the perfect throw that clips my stem."


From Mãn by Kim Thúy