Right now, this morning, something amazing is happening for a friend of mine, and though it’s not my place to say what that thing is, I invite you to feel the miraculous feeling of knowing: somewhere in the world, there is something good. This very moment. In fact, you may as well imagine this thing to be whatever you most need to be happening, because whether or not that’s my friend’s particular miracle, it’s probably happening to someone.
Last week I was fairly productive, and as a result, this week my mind seems to feel it has earned a vacation. Things are slow going. I stand under the 7-foot-tall sunflowers in the garden and just kind of gaze at them. The high is supposed to be 85 degrees today, and so the windows are open; each time it’s cool enough to have the windows open feels like it might plausibly be the last time for the season. Feeling the wind. Hearing birds sing at night, a different song than they sing in the day.
I finished reading War and Peace two days ago. I had ten pages left, and then four pages, and then it was over. The finale lends itself to languorous reading, because it is a philosophical text; the whole second epilogue sets the characters aside. I think Tolstoy’s genius lies in his ability to transmit ideas through character and action, so this wouldn’t have been my choice, but I did experience a moment of unique peace while reading those pages, so I won’t complain. This was an experience I will remember for my entire life. I’m so grateful to Yiyun Li and A Public Space and everyone who has been part of #TolstoyTogether.
I guess I’ll be reading different books now. I do feel like my sense of pace has changed. That is nice, since it accommodates the world. (Or at least, some parts of the world. The parts I can manage with my own two hands.) I had a dream that people had come over for a party, and they kept walking behind my sunflowers and smiling about it, as though this were a test of the sunflowers’ worth. The flowers were not taller in the dream than they are. My dreams are strange and magnificent lately, and the flowers are magnificent enough to fit in.