Body and Mind
A ghastly light from the street lamp lay in a long shaft from one window to the door. Gabriel threw his overcoat and hat on a couch and crossed the room towards the window. He looked down into the street in order that his emotion might calm a little. Then he turned and leaned against a chest of drawers with his back to the light. She had taken off her hat and cloak and was standing before a large swinging mirror, unhooking her waist.
I climb back in bed, rest my head on his chest. Spooned against the warm curl of his body, I feel the damp toads sleeping in the cave of my chest awaken. One by one, they hop away.
You think you can feel the peace in this room. A line from Matthew comes to you: “Forgive us as we forgive . . .” Something is happening here with the light and the birds and the wind outdoors: a transformation from despair to readiness. You call for your mother.
I want to ask Uncle Eddy how it could possibly be that he is sitting in my car as we drive through Katonah, New York, on the way to Danbury, but sometimes in life you just roll with what’s happening and try to make sense of it after it happens.
I remember clearly my grandmother’s eyes on the day she became trapped between a world of knowing and a world of confusion. She was sitting at the dining-room table in my mother’s house. My three children were poised above coloring books and other art supplies like tiny soldiers, following the orders of the day.