15 October, 2009

until the day breaketh

Lilies that Guion brought me. You can say it. Or I'll say it: He's the best.

I drove to Southern Pines on Tuesday night and relished the pure beauty of long country roads. They were sparsely populated and curved gently around pockets of these tiny towns. Driving alone is rather like walking alone, allowing the mind to untie itself, loosen its knots. I felt this surging impulse to hold it all in; to remember everything--all of the shadows on the sides of brick ranches with car ports, the glint of the sun on the edges of Jordan Lake, the silhouette of the pine trees over the next hill. All was calm, all was bright.

I drove to Southern Pines to go to the Young Life banquet that the Pratts hosted, but mostly I went to meet Allen Levi, Guion's spiritual and aesthetic godfather. It was well worth the journey. By all appearances, he seems to be a man who has not compartmentalized his life. Everything is music and story and art and community and Jesus; there are no divisions in his speech. He sounds like one who has absorbed the very words of Wendell Berry and Annie Dillard and actually lives them out. He pulled out a little notebook from his pocket and asked me for the five great books he should read. As I struggled to come up with titles he hadn't already read, I found myself realizing that I need to be more like him, more curious, more eager, more... whole.

Grace, since you'll be a licensed instructor soon, I need to practice yoga with you. My tired spine feels so cramped lately. I am very busy, I do not stop moving.

There is an small elderly man in my English class. He is bent almost in half and his back has grown so crooked that his shoulders have risen up to swallow his skinny neck. His face is brown and covered in moles and spots. He wears white linen pants every day and laughs often. He seems well-aware of current events, but likes to make references to the time before all of us were born, the time when he was young like us. I like him. He has the skinniest ankles I've ever seen, about the circumference of my wrists, and he wears a wedding ring. I think, when I see him, his wife must be happy.

I was early to costume design yesterday and so I wandered through the old graveyard before I went into the theater. I love reading epitaphs, particularly here. The graveyard is old and Southern and the lines are almost always drawn from hymns or scripture. The one that caught my eye was for a William McDade, born 1885, died 1947, that said only: "Until the day breaketh."

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