I just got up.
I woke up early but slept in late, and during this “in between” time, I was lying mostly awake with my face facedown, drinking in the sheets.
When I finally got up, I put my contacts in but did not brush my teeth, and then made myself some coffee.
And now I am braced at a balcony railing in the middle of this late morning air, holding a cup of coffee in one hand, standing with my weight set to one foot and the toes of the other resting on the top of it. I am looking out and into the white light paleness of the morning sky.
I am drenched in the sunshine. It wrings itself into my eyes.
It is saturating the edges of my skin that face it. And I can stand here, staring along the lines of sun by setting my line of sight away from it, feeling it beat down onto or into my being in indirect ways, for almost as long as I’d like.
I take a sip of coffee. The first sips of the mug are always almost too hot – initially a little bit violent before it eases and gives way to something lukewarm. Eventually I will drink this whole cup of coffee, and then at that point it will be gone.
For now, though, there is heat from the coffee and heat from the sun, and I am standing and soaking in all of it. I am thinking of hot and think also of coolness, and I am thinking of bodies of water.
Water is an absolute. Things are either in the water or they are not. I can dive in and my whole being is, obviously, entirely in. But even if I am only sitting at the edge of a pool or a boat or a dock, with only my toes immersed, these parts, on their own, are either in the water or they are not. And when you see your self fragmented, you can also see that the act of submerging the parts is, on any level, an act of absolute.
I am submerged. Or I am not. And the minute I step away, I have taken myself away from it – and it from me – and when I do, I let it slip away.
And there is a rightness to both of these things – both the submersion and then the stepping away.
The sun rose a while ago. Some days, it rises just before I do, the light virginal when I meet it. Other days, it is boisterous by the time I come out to it, a young adolescent cocky while cruising in a parent’s car.
It will move across the sky as the day progresses. I can meet the light at twilight, when it is winding down and putting itself to sleep. And I let it. Of course I let it. We all let it. It would be lunacy to wail at a railing, to put our hands against a cooling surface and shout at a light to just… to just come back.
We cannot cling to the sunshine as it sinks away at the edge of sky.
But this loss of it each day doesn’t stop us from enjoying it. When we think of the sun and then sunshine, we think of the moments when it is overhead – or, perhaps more specifically, we think of any number of its various stages of being overhead, from barely a breath in the east to a soft sigh in the west.
We do not think of its absence and mourn for it. We think instead of the times when it’s richest.
I sometimes forget that my grandma died.
I saw her in the hospital and I sat by her side and I talked to her in the context of knowing. I went to her funeral and I bought her flowers – they were purple, because white was not right; white was too mundane.
And yet still she does not exist in the paste tense for me. She is an essence. She still exists in the present.
And yeah, sure, maybe there is something wrong with this. Maybe.
Or maybe, instead, that’s how things and people should be for us. Maybe that is how we should see them – as an essence; as a set of things that means something to us. Maybe they can stand for and instill some emotion or headspace and maybe that reaction succeeds them; maybe it can be something that goes on even when they are no longer there.
This is how our world works for us. Love and enjoy each thing as it comes at you. Love it fully and completely; soak in the sun and drown yourself in it. And when it comes time for night to take over, let it slip away.