“The movement of your finger
Is not separate from your finger.
Observe the wonders as they occur around you.
Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry
moving through, and be silent.”
-Rumi, from “Body Intelligence” (trans. Coleman Barks)
A little more than a week ago—last Wednesday morning—I told my partner, “I need to do less, but I’m not not sure how.” I felt tired. Rundown. But there were so many projects that were still unfinished. A few hours later I tested positive for COVID, and the last week I’ve been in bed isolating. I’m lucky to not have a serious case, and to have the chance to hunker down and a place to do it.. I’ve also been sicker than I’ve been in years and years. My thoughts have been sluggish and slow. Concentrating is hard. The fridge hums in the other room. I pull the blankets off me, too hot, and pull them back, too cold. I breathe steam in a hot shower.
Last Wednesday, the Wednesday I tested positive, I was still determined to write an Uproar post. “I’ve written one for 365 straight weeks!” I told myself. “I can’t miss one.” I told myself, I need to do less, but I’m not sure how. Then a virus I breathed in somewhere put me in bed for days. If the movement of my finger is not separate from my finger, maybe the stillness of my finger is also not separate from my finger. If there’s running there’s also resting. Doing something for 365 straight weeks might be a reason to keep doing it, but it’s also a reason to pause, to lay down, to breathe.
I think Uproar #366 is something. It’s an inhalation. A pause. Be silent. It’s listening to the refrigerator while I realize that laying here is part of these wonders, just like moving. Silence, just like song. And this is 377. I trace my fingers over the weave of a blanket. I feel the threads and try not to claim them. How much of poetry is the love sound has for silence, the love silence has for sound?