Thursday, January 24, 2008


we bundle ourselves into the car around 7am and drive through the rainy, cold fog to the high school and then back across town to daycare. After I dropped off s., I grab my rain gear and head out into the freezing rain to walk before yoga class. I meet up with d., and launch into my whole oft-rehearsed diatribe of late about what happens when the person you have always thought that you were starts to crack like an old photo, when you start to realize that who you thought was yourself was nothing more that an impeccably maintained (or so you thought) image in your mind, that is now disintegrating before your eyes.

Are you forty-two?
d. asks. That's when it begins. It'll get better.

And then we walk back to her house and I wave good-bye and march off in the direction to the window-filled stone building on top of the hill, nestled among the trees on the golf course (which lovely, unpopulated square mile of wild nature urges me to thank God for golfers every time I go there--development might have long ago consumed it otherwise!) where yoga class meets, and I am late, and tromp in with my bags of clothing and books and thermos of green tea.

i hate neck relaxation exercises anyway, and I'm glad I've missed most of it. I used to feel that way about pigeon pose, but have come to love that one so much that I don't want to get out of it and into the spinal twist. I am always surprised at how the chatter in my mind always seems to increase as a function of the quiet of the room.

Breathe, the teacher says, and he means it, his voice says it and fills the room with the involuntary impulse to yawn.

By 11:45 I am at Starbucks on campus. The mind chatter says, Why are you willing to stand in this infernally long line, it's like Starbucks is a religion, should I get a latte or an Americano, etc. The length of the line had kept me outside the glass doors, but once I have moved (and rapidly!--I am always sure they will miss or screw up my order with the volume of traffic, but they are so damnably efficient) I hear the the heartwrenchingly familiar guitar picking of James Taylor, sweetened with time and LIVE, and I am suddenly transported back to my twenties in New York. I see that young woman no less clearly than I see myself now and I am gripped by an aching yearning to go to her, to tell her to stop everything because she has no idea who she is or what she is capable of, or how long it will take to unravel all the knots she is hastily tying.

But the latte comes, and I can't stand in there forever, and the song changes to some young, hip songwriting chanteuse and am poured back out into the cold, into the present. The past evaporates like a mist. I count the days since I posted my letter to a. (although I know he will not write back), and wish that I could go back, far back, and find him before we became whoever we would, unknowingly, become.