Between the end of fall and the beginning of wood stove season, there is a chill just mild enough that you can heat a small room with candles. Tonight, I light twelve candles, and when I find the chill no longer in the room, in my wagon, I sit very still in the soft light, and I stare at my newly finished bookshelves. I feel content, just sitting still for several hours, not meditating, not really, but feeling peaceful and deeply content as I run my eyes across the colorful spines that line the shelves. I had come inside to decide what to read next, but now the task seems impossible, so I sit and I stare and revel in the beauty waiting inside each cover.
I have not organized a single picture or composed a single sentence on the subject of my recent two month gallivant across America. Frankly, I am loath to face the task. Writing about the trip and sorting out the pictures feel like that proverbial final nail in the coffin. As if it is the writing and not the physical return that will truly end the experience. So instead I sit and stare at my shelves and my piles and remain firmly embedded in the present. There is no past, and the future is a crumpled to-do list that I may or may not ever complete.
The room smells of sickly perfume when I blow the candles out. I do it slowly this time, so as not to splatter blue wax across the yellow walls like I did two days ago. Tonight I finished reading a book called The Telling , a book written by one of my favorite science fiction writers (Ursula Le Guin) and the woman who taught me the word anarchism. The Telling is about a “futuristic” society run by a corporation, and it is also about stories and how important they are. What words do I have to tell you mine?