of past and present

Waking up in the morning with the same specific place to go, most Mondays through most Fridays. The comfort of that. The comfort of going out late at night with the usual friends to the usual bar, drinking the usual drinks, seeing the usual familiar strangers. The usual cigarette scratchiness in  my throat the next morning which I would soothe with the usual coffee and smoke. Wondering the usual questions about other ways to live, dreaming the usual fantasies.  Repeat, with some variations. Poetry readings. Concerts. Dinners. Excursions to other cities. Sharing in others’ usual places, usual days, usual dreams.

The usual desire to feel free.

And now, to feel this:

I sink and float
like a warm amphibious animal
that has broken the net, has run
through fields of snow leaving no print;
this water washes off the scent—
You are clear now
of the hunter, the trapper
the wardens of the mind—*

An unusual kind of freedom. Delicate. A gossamer reality which I must spin into silk. Tenuous at best. Freedom requires more work, more discipline than I understood when I first dreamed these usual dreams. Strange how the usual dreams fit into and fight with the usual reality.

In truth, I am not clear of the usual. Not quite clear of the hunters, the trappers, the wardens of the mind. They are all around. I evade them as best I can. I live in a gossamer reality which I must spin into silk. Gentle and strong, the stuff which incubates transformation.

The stuff which incubates transformation. The usual dreams are dreams of transforming the usual reality, of making the unusual into the usual. I wake into what has become my usual reality, wondering how long my body will allow this to be my usual, wondering what usual longings may pull at my heart, wondering how anchors can hold in ether.

*from Origins of History and Consciousness by Adrienne Rich