November 26, 2015
Today, I am thankful for the sky, a vast layer that separates us from the infinite abyss beyond. That sky in its insistence and refusal of blue, that allows us to see differently each day, and to continue to see.
I am thankful for the thin layer of clouds and fog hovering above the city buildings, to create an illusion of magic, to allow us to believe, even if just for a moment, that the city we live in can be magical, that this world can support us in so many imperceptible ways.
I’m thankful for the mountains, the rocks and sediments that resonate between the fibers of our being, that absorb and give and receive, stone monuments reaching for the sky, reminding us too, to reach higher.
I am thankful for all of the birds, each and every single one an entire history of inarticulation, open wounds sitting on a wire, the birds that will be here when the world ends, the birds that see everything, the birds that persist, because that is all they know to do, and we, like the birds, persisting with them.
I am thankful for my dogs, the incredible compassion and generosity and empathy that they are capable of, what they can teach us about living, how we are allowed to feel and to be vulnerable and to be ourselves with them.
I am thankful for music and for words. I am thankful that language constantly fails and so that we have poetry, a way in which we can communicate that ignites presence, that allows us to rewrite and guide through intimacy, that, in the patterns of inarticulation we reach for words and therefore towards each other.
From War & War by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes:
I no longer care if I die, said Korin, then, after a long silence, pointed to the nearby flooded quarry: Are those swans?
It was an inexpressibly beautiful, unbelievably tranquil scene he found himself in as he sensed in every cell of his body, sensed it, he explained the next day, rather than saw it, because his eyes were closed, his two arms spread and relaxed, his legs slightly open, comfortable, the lush lawn beneath him softer than any down, light breezes playing about him like delicate hands, and the gentle waves of sunlight as intimate and close as breathing … together with the luxuriant vegetation that enfolded him, the animals drowning in the distant shade, the azure canvas of sky above him, the earth an aromatic mass below, and this thing and that, he said, infinite, endlessly flowing in an as-yet-incomplete harmony yet permanent, immobile, echoing his own permanence and immobility, lying there, stretching, fixed as if by nails in his horizontal, immersed, practically submerged position, as if peace were this dish of dizzying sweetness and he the table, as if such peace and such sweetness really existed, as if there were such a place and such a tranquility, as if such a thing existed, said Korin, as if it were possible.
If there were just one sentence at the end, as far as I’m concerned, dear lady, it could only be that nothing, absolutely nothing made sense, Korin remarked next morning after his usual period of silence, then stared out of the window at the firewalls, the roofs, and the dark threatening clouds in the sky, eventually adding a single sentence: But there are a lot of sentences yet and it has begun to snow.