In the early morning hours, I’m drowsy, awake, drowsy, awake – it has been that kind of a night. My last day now of a year that has had its share of bloggable and not so bloggable events.
At night, I once again think of shutting Ocean down because I feel it is losing its entertainment value in the same way that I feel myself to be losing my entertainment value.
The less you ask that I entertain you, the more you accept my need to talk in other tones, the sooner I will return to entertaining you in the future.
Kathy, who is my oldest friend in town, has a sixth sense about Ocean and me. She lives quite far now, but she shows up at dawn with a latte. She has so little time, far less than any other person I know in town, but she shows up with a latte, to help pass this last morning of an eventful year.
She runs her words through the history of my life in Madison. She leaves a bar of chocolate and rejoins her own world of frenzied work demands. I’m here, with my bar of chocolate and Ocean, my email, my disconnected world of people.
The only thing that connects one person to another, one event, one stage of my life to another is time.
JP, a very early reader of Ocean – one of the first ever to comment on it in fact, has just sent a long email describing her life. I haven’t heard from her for months. I read it, fascinated. She has this gift of weaving her text in and out of events and moods that she has sharply, astutely picked out from Ocean. I am stunned at the beauty of her writing.
In the village where I lived my first years, time stood still. I know all about time standing still. It’s standing still right now as well, even as minutes move me closer to April 21st.
A neighbor writes and asks: where were you last night? We were supposed to knit together! I answer: I would not have been good company… Another time…
Ten years ago time was almost taken away from me. I got then one of the many gifts of time, even as I don’t believe in mystical forces and have to count it off as random. I drew a lucky number, someone else did not.
Time: handed to me, but with a warning: it comes with a great big eraser as it rubs away people from my life, some whom I have known forever and ever, all sorts of people -- not asking if I have a pencil to draw in replacements, or whether I even have the inclination let alone ability to do so.
Birthday gifts, gifts of time. The very best, the most demanding on my part, to be sure, the ones that require the greatest personal sacrifice, an ungodly amount of patience and generosity: to give time to a person who needs it. Again and again and again, over and over. And then, to sit back and watch the person take off. That’s it. No other compensation. Just their flight. Made possible by your generous donation. Not even tax deductible, no plaques, no honor. Just a nod, and a silent thank you.