A softness rolls over me I was not looking for tonight. The internet was out for a while and so I played games and now, turned on PBS, and there’s a fascinating and warm and revealing documentary on a family with a trans woman artist at the center of it. I’m watching it and feeling the stress around me, but not it me. I’m thinking the thoughts I don’t always want to think and letting them go. Thoughts about marriage and love and moving on and taking care of yourself. How three ladies I knew as girls are now married this week, how I feel hurt and yet, the hurt is such a point, while the joy is a wave. I can move off of the hurt and still have the joy moving through my system.
For a while, there is no election, there is no grand fear, there is no intense mission for self-improvement and staving off the end of the world with my own dazzling wit.
For a while, there’s a bit of quiet.
It’s a Sunday kind of Monday. It’s a short week. It’s going to be alright. Right?
A bit of calm and faith. The limestone columns rose up out of the stone on the outcropping overlooking the sea. They were stately, even in their state of partial ruin, and the sun seemed to hold itself on the horizon a bit longer to illuminate each spire. The wind was light, and from the east, and it fluttered the silken banners that adorned the stone canopy, a constant, gentle imitation of the waves below.
It had been something of a journey to arrive. Storms of every persuasion, both literal and figurative, hampered the passage. Every aspect of the flight felt dilatory, every light lingered on red, every phone call droned on and on. Once she arrived on the island, her blood pressure began to normalize, but the urgency remained. Even the slow roll of the oars as they dipped into the deep blue everywhere to pull her stride by stride towards the isolated faraglioni seemed to to take longer than ever before. But now, now she was here. And the day, or the final turns of the day before it was properly dusk, could not have been more beautiful.
After climbing the winding staircase behind the expert attendants she’d hired on the mainland to carry the supplies, she’d been left to her own devices and the sound of the sea.
It was time to make preparations. The table was a limestone slab, ornately carved with fish and life as it passes along the shore. It was set in the center of the pavilion, and had been washed this morning, and ten chairs, each as sumptuous and pillow-laden as the last, were set imperfectly around its shape.
After drawing out candles, and scattering honeysuckle flowers, there she laid out the feast. The three trunks were pulled open, chilled wine, crusty bread, salty meat and olives, little sugar-spun treasures.
Now, it was only a matter of how quickly the oars would turn. The annual gathering of the first and last of her tribe.