Wednesday, July 14, 2010

little pockets of love

Today I am tired. It has been gray all day.

It rained all morning, the Palisades across the Hudson hidden behind a blanket of silver. I made a trip out of the house after the rain stopped to find the post office and the thick air hung in my chest and curled my hair. The clouds were low and heavy. The post office is at the bottom of the cliff that runs along one side of our neighborhood. I descended the steep flight of stairs down to the foot of the cliff, holding aloft my granny-cart full of packages to be mailed. I don't yet look unmistakably pregnant--more like a chubby mama with an expanding waist--but I felt unmistakably pregnant. Even going down stairs seemed to take a lot of energy.

I have been tired ever since we got home from Germany. I enjoy being home, completing the little tasks that bring us closer to being settled in our new apartment; opening the remaining boxes slowly, sorting drawers, making lists of things we need-- refrigerator organizers and molly bolts for mounting on lath and plaster walls. And even though the to-do list seems endless, I relish each task. Soon enough the apartment will be more-or-less in order, and while I like sitting back among my well-arranged furniture and admiring the art on the walls, I think I like working toward that moment even better.

Today I don't really have anything important to write.

Even before I left the post office I was dreading the stairs. I imagined myself getting up a eighth of them and sitting down for a prolonged rest. The post office is not far from the lower entrance to Fort Tryon Park. Leaving the post office, I headed in this direction and away from the stairs. The air along the cliffs of Manhattan schist seemed cooler, and the trees sprinkled rainwater on me in the breeze. I remembered reading that there was a subway station for the A-train cut into the rocks near here with an elevator that connected Fort Washington above. The article said that even on hot days this subway station was cool inside. I found the entrance easily, cut into the side of the rock like a hobbit hole. Cool air drafted out. Inside, a long, damp tunnel led toward subway and to the promised elevator. Ahhh.

Lately I've been thinking about the Nintendo game Mario Brothers we used to play as kids. I remember there were all sorts of places where you could manipulate Luigi to get extra points. Sometimes I didn't even know there were extra points on the screen, but somehow my brother would find them. Life seems a little like this, extra points hidden in all sorts of places. Little pockets of love hidden all along my way. Like the subway elevator cut in the rock that serves people passing through as well as those using the subway. Extra points for anyone, but especially for tired pregnant mamas wielding granny-carts.

I am happy in our new neighborhood. Being pregnant makes me crave solitude--I often involuntarily imagine myself lying on a blanket of moss under huge branches of a remote old-growth forest. No one around for miles. Hudson Heights and Fort Tryon Park is about as close as I'm going to get to this image in Manhattan. Not to mention that when I look out the windows of our apartment toward the Hudson, I see trees and river.

I ordered Thai delivered for dinner tonight. I gave Isaiah his bath and brushed his teeth. Charles came home with flowers. And just before sunset, the clouds parted and golden sunlight filled our apartment while the sky turned pink. Extra points I didn't even know were there.

*  *  *

M Y   O W N   H E A R T

My own heart let me more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.

I cast for comfort I can no more get
By groping round my comfortless than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst's all-in-all in all a world of wet.

Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise
You, jaded, lét be; call off thoughts awhile
Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room, let joy size

At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile
'S not wrung, see you: unforeseentimes rather--as skies
Betweenpie mountains--lights a lovely mile.

–Gerard Manley Hopkins

{ p o e t r y   w e d n e s d a y }

1 comment:

Molly Sabourin said...

Oooh, I really liked this post, Amber! I love so very much the Mario Bros analogy - the hidden pockets of joy (extra points). This was a great read! Thank you.