I realize I am a tad superstitious. This surprises me. This entry normally would have come a while ago, but words resonate with an aura of magic and as much as I am enchanted by them, I fear black magic. I rarely mention my friend Nancy, but she is so much with me here in thought. All the time. Silence seemed the safer course. Today, she will begin to uncurl from a sojourn of sleep and recupperation after another chemo treatment and today I will try to stay the words from a moment shared with her.
One month ago or so…
Nancy called this morning, very early for her, noon for me. She caught me with skype turned on -such lovely serendipity. I could see it was still dark in Montreal and she tapped out a chat message for me…. Let’s try something, everyone is sleeping so I have to be quiet – I’ll put on my headphones and write to you, but you can talk normally.
She is so fast, she manages to say more with her fingers than me with my mouth. She points out an asymmetry in our experiences of seeing our lovers as our mothers. She is reading my entries. She likes Burnt Milk and encourages me to continue breaking down the duality of – Her(e) / Not Here, which keeps the questioning happening in an external space at arms length. Burnt milk tarnishes the purity of white. Now to find the light in the dark tunnel, I suggest. We laugh about the tiny camera hole in the computer being a black hole that joins us. Keep going, she writes, go through with it as the Buddha says. Emilie-Claire with her still sleepy head joins us climbing onto Nancy’s lap. We have wakened at least one in her household.
A few minutes later, Nancy sent an email telling me to look at the poem left on skype.
Nancy: 07:03:55 i just wrote you a serious email about death….
Nancy: 07:04:14 well the difference between heavy and light is hilarious
Nancy: 07:04:48 eric is my mother
Nancy: 07:05:30 what do you mean what are you doing? you mean leaving paul?
Nancy: 07:06:09 the way i look at it is, you’re mining. you need a dark hole with possible nuggets in it
Nancy: 07:06:34 my letter is actually interesting – in the sense that it makes a little sens e (to me) about what you’re doing
Nancy: 07:07:27 good image
Nancy: 07:07:30 yes
Nancy: 07:07:51 but the thing i was writing about is how few and how singular your memories are and how important this is
Nancy: 07:08:12 how valuable that there’s so few is what i’m writing about
Nancy: 07:08:53 i was talking about emilie claire being washed over by my words – i am the narrator of joyce’s ulysses. compare that to the stillness and value of the sparseness of your details
Nancy: 07:09:20 i think it’s amazing you can tell the story like the heart attach story. my thing is, emilie is turning 6 on sunday. and starting school.
Nancy: 07:09:45 that’s where i connect and that’s why it’s hard for me.
Nancy: 07:09:59 but in your black hole i’m in it with you!
Nancy: 07:10:11 at least there’s that!\
Nancy: 07:11:00 well that was fortuitous
Nancy: 07:11:07 she can’t hear you
Nancy: 07:11:12 hold on
Everything in me feels so tender, slightly swollen. I go to the Seine. I watch the long thin barges skim like needles pulling a thread of water behind them. I think of the disorder that has invaded these past days, mixing everything up. The bed always unmade, the floor covered in half projects, my preparations for the demonstration at the embassy, left-overs from the leavings of Michelle and Risa here and there. My sighs exit almost like snorts – the energy of compressed breath releasing. I fall asleep in the sun, my body pressed into the stone walkway on the south wall of Île-Saint-Louis, the warm hand of the sun loving my skin. I am between sleep and waking and in a conversation with myself. I ask, how will this whole story evolve? Will Paris give me some surprise plot? Then, everything shifts from words to images and it is like some richly jewelled moment is being offered to me, is it a fan? or a ringed hand…I don’t remember which, but it is opened and offered to me. I ask, but why would she give me this? The answer comes and I hear the words, because she loves you.