Monday, July 30, 2012

Waxing Gibbous

Waxing Gibbous Moon (more than half-lighted, less than full)

Who am I kidding?

I'll never post about the puzzle of family, the pull and the repel, the warmth and the isolation, the un-bloggable. I'll post instead about the moon, shining its cold, beloved light into my airplane window in the early hours of the morning and the one paragraph in a short story by Junot Diaz that set me back to a night long ago, a memory that pierced me and through whose tiny pinprick hole came despair and gratitude in equal measure, more than half-lighted and less than full. I wrote the memory down, the beginnings of a larger story:

The ring came in a little box, a coat of arms, a crown, a tiny bed of velvet. His mother had worn it before, or not. He was the second of the four sons, the first to marry. She always felt as if she were floating when she was with him -- floating through a forest near Mark Twain's house, a forest like the fairy tale, despite the thick undergrowth, his lightly drunken laugh. He dragged a guitar. She felt as if she were floating or, rather, drifting away in a small row-boat, the oars placed carefully inside, no effort and aimless after love on the white sheets, the air-conditioner humming, the smell of strange meat that the Laotian refugees cooked in the house behind them. The bed had swayed then, the growing distance between them an ocean as placid as the unsuspecting smile on his face. After he gave her the ring and they ate their dinner, they had floated down the road, their car enveloping them in silence. They held hands over the gear-shift, the new ring sparkled, floating reflections from the headlights of passing cars. The two people who trudged along the highway appeared to have just floated in, too, pushing a small stroller, the baby on the woman's hip, its blonde curly head buried in her shoulder. 


We have to stop, she told him, lifting her hand from his, his own down-shifting as they slowed and she rolled down her window and spoke to them, her words floating out into their open, surprised faces, white in the night air.

10 comments:

  1. Sweet Jesus this is gorgeous, and you can't just leave me there. You are a truly great writer. I don't mean that lightly.

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  2. I totally agree with the comment above. I so wish I could be on a beach in California...the humidity is horrible here.

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  3. Wow.
    I'm such an adoring and in awe fan.

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  4. Well? What happens next? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Seriously, this is beautiful writing. You've hooked me.

    (And I love Junot Diaz!)

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  5. Picture poem of loveliness, yearning. I see those hands clasped over the gearshift, the ring sparkling.

    I do.

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  6. The story you gave us was splendid but it was the story you did not that gave me pause - that puzzle of family, the warmth and the isolation ...

    "That you can't really know the person standing before you, because always there is a missing piece: the birthday like an invisible pinata hanging great and silent over his head, as he stands in his slippers boiling the water for coffee. The scarred, shrunkened leg hiddent under a green silk dress. A wife and son back in France. Something you never knew. That is the heart of the story."

    Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna

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  7. Beautiful, just beautiful. I can't wait for the next part. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  8. wow! You have my rapt attention. Good work Elizabeth.

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  9. And yet this writing you gave us is a bit on the puzzle of family - or at least the puzzle of love and becoming a family. What amazing images and emotions you evoke - writing of floating as your words float themselves. You are a wonder.

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