The Darker Sooner
by Catherine Wing
Then came the darker sooner,
came the later lower.
We were no longer a sweeter-here
happily-ever-after. We were after ever.
We were farther and further.
More was the word we used for harder.
Lost was our standard-bearer.
Our gods were fallen faster,
and fallen larger.
The day was duller, duller
was disaster. Our charge was error.
Instead of leader we had louder,
instead of lover, never. And over this river
broke the winter’s black weather.
Work pulls me onto trains, lately. Seat upon seat, row upon row, the windows looking out onto the same dark green trees and slate gray ocean that I’ve grown to associate with my own failure to find colour and light. These trips, short and small as they are, would have been special, would have been seen as stepping stones, but there has been little, since Michael died, that inspires, that cradles me or helps me feel alive. I am thankful that the places I’ve been going have community; cleverness and kindness meshed together, a basket to land within that protects me from hitting the ground.
I made a new friend through work, one of my on-going contracts as a copy-editor for a group of Information Security professionals. He lives far away and we don’t talk often, but when we do, we have the sort of personal, political, and philosophical discussions that I always imagined friends must converse about deep into the night, sitting on hypothetical porches with bottles of wine or in imaginary living rooms flickering with candlelight, post dinner-party or house-party. Maybe there’s a cat, the furniture is well loved, and discoveries are being made, bridges are being raised, and beliefs and opinions are being forged, tested, and reforged.
I use “hypothetical” and “imaginary” because I don’t know how to find myself in such cozy situations, (though I crave them more than most things). Like many things, I only know they’re real because I’ve been told about them and seen them at a distance or through the lens of media. That said, I still like it when I find its echo on-line and it’s been good to have again, as it’s something I’ve been missing for a number of years, since defeat took me and my capacity to reach out diminished (as is easily mapped by the decline of this journal).
He has me reading books I would have skimmed over, summaries of Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell. They haven’t pulled at me yet, there’s been no internal tug of recognition, but I appreciate the gentle push into new directions. I haven’t had the focus for entire books lately, so I spend my reading time on-line now, following the news instead, like the Panama Paper leaks or the horror show that’s passing for the Republican primaries. Topics: Science, privacy, human rights, politics.
I miss art and design, but I’ve misplaced those impulses too. They’re somewhere in my history, but not my present, along with my languishing photography backlog, my lost animation reels, finding new music and singing along, dancing, movement, creation. Agency, desire, grace. The spark.