In previous blog entries, I have touched on the ephemeral, ethereal phenomenon that we refer to as “inspiration,” which the Oxford dictionary defines as “The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”
We know that inspiration can point its magic wand at the most unexpected times; still, I was taken by surprise when the recovery from my first total hip replacement last November transported me to a “place” that became the basis for the novel I am currently writing, entitled A Rocky Orchard. Currently recovering from my second hip replacement, I have a solid start on the novel, and am thrilled to be back at work on it.
You lean your head towards mine. You are going to kiss me. How many times have you kissed me, and my stomach still does a little leap. Your head jerks. “What was that?” you say. “What was what,” I say. I didn’t hear anything. “I definitely heard something,” you say. “You didn’t hear that? Sounds like someone is throwing something — balls or something like that — one after another. Listen, you say. I hear it. Sounds like it’s getting closer, you say. Sounds like it’s coming from the orchard. You hear it, right? You ask me. Yes, I hear it.
Stay here. I’ll check it out, you say. Probably some kid having a little fun, you say.
Don’t be silly. I’ll come, too, I say.
The short step down from the porch, my bare foot on the hot summer grass, I am hit by a wall of humidity. The full, fertile feel of the air that marks a Pennsylvania mountain summer. Thick, wet, ripe with a steaming, green life. “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” That poem, the Pablo Neruda poem that you recited. The humidity reminds me. Down on one knee in an old-fashioned gesture I never would have guessed. Holding my hand and you said, “I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers.” The wall of humidity pushes against me. Your arm reaches out and you tell me to stay back. Please, you say. Please stay back. “Thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.”
I see him, you say.
Then I see him, too.
I wonder what in the world he is doing here.
Without thinking I start to call out to him. I want to laugh. I want to wave and ask him what in the world he is doing here.
Then I see his face. “Lives darkly in his body.”
And I know what he is doing here. I know.