I am a woman who has taken years to learn how to listen. I am the woman who has taken years to recognize her own voice. To wake up to the slight stirring in her ankles that tells her something of import is on its way. The woman who struggles to listen, and sometimes succeeds in listening, in sitting down and listening through her pen. The woman who took a long time to recognize the irritation that signals the need to sit down and write, the irritation that signals, “it’s been too long.” The woman who struggles to sit down, to settle, to calm herself and surrender to writing. The woman who must learn over and over again how sweet that surrender can be, and almost always is.
It takes a long time to listen, to feel how your body responds to images like those limbs out there, the limbs that, in mid-November, still hold pale green yellowing leaves. Or the bare pale white lichened trellis leaning up against the fence, that had been there all the busy golden days of summer and autumn, obscured by the deep pink flowers of Autumn Joy now browning and bending to earth, not to mention the purple Columbine and scarlet Peonies of June. It takes a while, and lots of repeated looking, to notice how good that feels, the looking, especially the looking at the passing. And it takes a long time to recognize that that good feeling is worth paying attention to, that you deserve to feel that good. That the feeling good and that the looking, the beholding, may even be the best kind of prayer. And it may be a kind of work, a scrying over this creation that is longed for by both seer and seen. It may be a kind of communion. You may even hear something like a sigh of consummation, not knowing whether it comes from seer or seen. Only knowing that the sigh signals a job well done, a settling of bones, a celebration from on high.