I have never lived alone. First, there were parents; then roommates, lovers, a husband, children. It has seemed natural and sweet for the children to grow up and leave. It has seemed terribly unnatural to find myself single.
This singleness will be temporary, but its duration is uncertain. I don't know what I will do with the hours. I don't know how to avoid getting sick of myself.
As a writer, I have thrived on compression: moments carved out. The idea of having endless time is terrible, but perhaps it will be a good thing. Perhaps I'll figure out a way to make the days stay alive.
This morning, before the thunderstorms and the blackflies arrive, I'll walk down to the stream to pick fiddleheads. Then I'll begin editing a new manuscript: a biography of the poet Richard Wilbur. I'll wash the kitchen floor and start composing a short talk about the poems of Kerrin McCadden. I will cut up a pineapple. If the thunderstorms haven't arrived, I'll mow some grass or sow some some Swiss chard seeds. If the thunderstorms have arrived, I'll make tea and read Margaret Drabble's novel The Ice Age. I'll bake a potato for supper. The evening will draw in.
I can hear little clicks inside my dream.
Night drips its silver tap
down the back.
--Anne Carson, "The Glass Essay"