Reading The Blue Clerk, 142

“Verso 40”

I woke up in the grip of unquiet. Not with the drama of a heart beating too fast, like a bird trying to escape your chest the books say, but with a quiet sense of having slipped away from somewhere I dared not stay too long, though I needed to. I wanted, desperately, to share my disquiet with someone. The waters are roiling. I will not throw in more pebbles.

the quiet is quiet

The prophet stands and what he seeks is not where he thought it would be, not in the drama and pageantry. This remains one of my favorite phrases: in the small quiet. In the stillness. And, perhaps, if you stay still enough, quiet enough, the voice you need will be hearable. Or will have been invited, though it may not have anything to say.

In the salt lake the with dancing flamingoes, the quiet is quiet, the desert is quiet, the absence is quiet, the quiet is quiet.

To name the texture of one’s tread, the relation between press and crush, grit and polish. In those moments when you imagine you can hear your body collect itself..

Quiet of some beings like yourself.

And, sometimes, it is the quiet of unfamiliarity. Where a different tongue opens a space for your unfluencies to be restful. The restfulness of incurious strangers. The provisional peace of indifference. (I had traveled to be alone with my thinking, which meant I had traveled to find the voices that wanted to be heard.)

To return. In those small green spaces, where the occasional ant sauntered into view, and you could hear the pen move against the paper. Worlds. Words.

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