Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What A View


“Well, pray for a 12-car pile-up because we’re not exactly swimming in livers over here!” Dr. Cuddy on House

Sarah had always collected things. Greg was a brilliant broken-down doctor with a bad leg – as he said – and she had nothing to say to it. They were between bridges, he in his way of cajoling but not being willing to love truly, and she in her hope growing inside her like her own harvest. A drought had accumulated for months, and most rain that came ran right over the ground. When she sat at the kitchen window and watched the birds at the feeder, she sipped her coffee and tasted the story of the beans, or so she imagined. How many hands had they passed through – planting, harvesting, separating, roasting – not so much literal hands, too, as then mechanical ones? What soil had fed these seeds? She imagined the dark beans sliding down a shiny grey tray, a conveyer, some bouncing a little, then calming down into a heap. She tasted different notes, like music, or maybe she imagined this as tasting was described by coffee connoisseurs. Certain sounds she felt in her mouth when the first sip passed her lips and pooled, then the deepening of the heat like roots without strength. The bitterness came after, a slight bounce or reflection almost, and she saw the sun baking the plants, nurturing them to a high harvest.

She had all the time in the world, somehow. She had been a journalist for a long time. There was plenty of work, which still excited her, and somehow she felt she still had all the time in the world. A dream? Now, this broken-down doctor with a bad leg. How did she love him? Some friends discouraged her. Were they, her friends, happy? A few were actively engaged in Living, and some laughed and cried and danced as they tied their shoes, combed their childrens’ hair, filed reports, and gave presentations. She admired them in some ways, their commitment to life itself as days and nights unfolded in their worlds. Always there was truth in this "how do you feel" question. What was the work? What was the dream? One friend told her, Careful what you say, I believe in the power of words. Yes! She thought, so do I or I wouldn’t be writing stories about reasons for war, the heartbreak of martyrdom, the jousting of egos in a room. There is no “all the time in the world.” Act now!

Then it came to her, again - the way the rain sounded as it poured through the rain barrel spouts last night, after so much dry air, dry land, reaching roots. Come back to the way souls seek peace after war. Her doctor friend was hard as nails in how he reflected the care and love he wanted. She listened and took it in, as late water permeated dry land at last. She saw it in him, and, as his friend told him, Being miserable doesn’t make you different, it just makes you miserable. Was she open to satisfaction, to changing, to love?

A friend gave her a gingerbread heart her son made, an ornament for the season. Then her friend strung a green and red ribbon through it. Ah, then she thought of the dramatic simplicity of the birds at the feeder. They peck and peep and move fast to nudge another. They preen and strut, then, gradually, nuzzle. What a word. What a wonderful world. What a view.

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