I swim in uncertain, rapidly moving waters. My feet cannot feel the bottom. Wisdom escapes me. My body does not speak, save to remind me of its age. Fear holds my heart ransom; I try not to pay, but it is hard.
My sadness is older than Rome, more ancient than Greece. Laughter does me no service. It is a mere temporary insanity, a waste of energy, offering no respite at all. I do not seek to laugh. I find no hope there.
What do I make of friends? They arrive and depart like trains moving through a station. They neither hear nor understand. They change as does the wind, and as do I myself, so I know they are not to blame. My cat knows more about me than they can; she is a better friend to me than I am to myself.
I see horses run and play in a field, their heads held high as they tease each other with their sleek, shiny bodies. A thick black flock of birds in flight catches my eye as they turn in perfect unison towards the outstretched branches of a tree. They alight there quickly, gently, one by one. They will not remain still for long. Soon one will give the silent signal, and all will take to flight for reasons they may not know.
The big geese, destined for who-knows-where, fly high overhead. They talk to each other. I pray that all survive the journey. Their bravery, their talent, their sheer ability call to me from their skies. I think they have enormous faith.
A trio of deer appears in the dark near my house, standing there without moving so much as one leaf. They are celebrities, more elegant and more glamorous than the brightest movie stars. I love them.
The moon strikes me, too, especially when she makes herself a crescent. I know that a few men who have great faith in man’s inventions have walked on her. I do not envy them, not much. The way there must be long and hard; surely it is also frightening. On crystalline nights I can see plenty of her from where I stand on this solid old ground.
I want to know why the horses run, why the birds have such synchrony, why the geese bother to make those long flights, and what the deer feel as they watch me. I want to know why all this happens, why it warms my heart and thrills me so. It cannot be all that far now. Surely it is closer than that moon those men walked on. This I pray.