It is a hot and rainy morning in New York–a condition reserved exclusively for our urban enclave. Nowhere else on earth can buildings capture the hot and wet and hold them together in this precise way. It is also a condition of the soul, I’ve come to discover, after years of waking to mornings like this and feeling the way I do right now; like I am holding the hot and wet in my heart as if I were a building among buildings, too. It is a city of steely contradiction. I am at home in it.
Even now, the rain is finer than it was a moment ago, which means that things are changing. This morning, trolling for quotes about loss that could do the heavy lifting for my heavy heart, I found the following from Mailer:
“The only faithfulness people have is to emotions they’re trying to recapture.”
It calls to mind basements. It calls to mind former houses and former spouses. It seems to say that in spite of knowing we shouldn’t, we always try to hold on a moment too long. And it is the holding on that we refer to as “fidelity.” I wonder if we can be faithful instead to things that haven’t happened yet; if we can pull the plug and slip it into another outlet–one that acknowledges there can be no beginnings without endings. I am not interested in relics. Are you?
It is impossible to be buoyant if you are too married to gravity. All you will feel is the pulling, pulling, pulling, down, down, down, back, back, back, until you have ended again at the beginning. And then you will have to let go all over again. Let us become untethered, there is no reason not to. This is what it feels like to loose the grip, untie the knot, dissolve the mass, clean the closet, close the door, open another, polish the glass, free the horses, cease operations, release the prisoners, flip the switch, take the needle off the record, conspire with optimism, hope for the best.
Do not resist. Let it happen. In so doing you will witness the miracle of the uncharted heart. Maps are helpful, but we have far too many. We’ve known exactly what to do next a hundred times over, but it never seemed to stop what was coming anyway.
Here is our encounter with the open road.