My feet ache, the heel tender from meeting the linoleum daily in an attempt to preserve the harvest. And this is just right.
The blackberries release their juices about twelve minutes into the stirring and once the sugar is added, there will be another 20 minutes until it thickens, so I close my eyes and practice leaning forward on my toes, distributing the weight I usually ask my heel to carry forward and across the entire surface of my size 9 1/2, and there is a sudden lift, a lightening, and I feel as though I've lost 20 pounds. I lean my arm across the cabinet above the oven, rest my forehead against my arm and close my eyes. I distribute the weight of my vision across an interior landscape. The silver ladle dipped into the purpleblack berries moves against the clock. I rewind.
You were a girl with a red second place ribbon once. How important is winning to you now?
Not at all. Closed eyes. I hear Nora in the living room talking her quiet make-believe into the inanimate forest creatures she loves.
Tom is 900 miles away, and I try to bend the distance as one would fold a piece of fabric in half. My life, now opened, encloses me in these "conditions." No rain for the flowers, and I finally let the grass die. The garden bursts green above the dead yellow that surrounds it, watered every night for two hours, my oasis though the heat has kept me out of it for longer than 20 minutes at a time.
I'm afraid that I sound like I'm complaining. I'm not. I'm recording:
Moments that surround me like a gift even when they seem to stretch on forever.
And this is the mystery of the answer: "I am that I am."