Here, I had pasted in Agha Shahid Ali’s “Even the Rain,” thinking to borrow inspiration from the lines, from the mood of melancholy and the resonance of the repetition. How he begins, What will suffice for a true love-knot/Even the rain? But he has bought grief’s lottery, bought even the rain." And then I erased it all, and rewrote the first line from memory, and see I cannot steal from Shahid what he has already said, to repurpose or reify, just as I see that when even the rain is not here even the rain is here. Oh, Shahid, man who mourned the world adequately. Out the window is only the rain, as it always is here in Winter, and I don’t have anything to say about grief or silence or the desire for hope. The coffee is bitter and the long afternoon is a well in the bottom of which I cannot see from and the music is tinny and thin from the speakers of the café, and the baristas don’t bustle because no-one waits on anything and what I want is to create or say or do or make or find. No, I want a beginning to the sun, or an enchantment of the tongue instead of this dull, stuttered musing. I want not to write the words ‘I want’.
But tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, and we are supposed to be filled with resolution and resolve: this year I will be different, I will diet and exercise until I bulge with muscle, I will leave off whiskey and cigarettes and poor choices in my love life, I will lust for less sweets, go vegan or pescatarian or organic or cream my coffee only with clarified Chinese soymilk, I will take up hot yoga, find Jesus or Buddha or become nonviolent like Gandhi, I will finish my book sell my book begin to write my book or say just one true thing appreciate beauty and the blessings I have, become better, better, better. Too much less, and too much more. Too little, and not enough.
Tomorrow will not dawn clear or bright, and the day after we will not be different, though we might be renewed for thinking we can be. Today my best old friend rolls back into town to ring in the New Year, and tomorrow night it will be more wine, whiskey, and country songs, trying to find some heat and light in ringing it all in, bringing it all down, in a house high on a hill with the long rows of grapes swinging away, or toward, under the rain falling in the dark, or rising, since all the rain that falls was once river or ocean or lake or puddle or pond and has already fallen before and risen again, made new (or not), and so it will be for all of us, soon or not so soon, later or never too late: we will live, and we will love what we can, even the rain, and we will want, and we will not, and we will be, and we will not, and that must suffice.