When the love is too large and it spills messily on the floor and you are two years old, strapped to a high chair, you cry, watching it lonely splat all over the floor. You toss your plate of overcooked spaghetti to join it then stop your tears, your breath, and peer downward. The pause is needed. The wails might overwhelm the masterpiece: love and spaghetti. When this happens the dog comes scampering over, hastily lapping up both, heartily, bringing brightness ~ until you are scolded, but you know your love is safe in the dog’s belly.
When the love is too large and your offerings form into words that don’t stick and aren’t caught, words that float past unanswered, not sad, words that settle on a bluebird’s wing, then fly on the proverbial wing and a prayer. You hear them, safe in flight, as birdsong.
When the love is too large and boys grow tall and somewhat frightening because you can no longer run faster than they can and they look at you differently, (scared themselves, of themselves?) maybe it is too soon. Love alights on round-backed ponies in fields and novels and shiny magazine photos. Black birds on sun-dappled hide.
When the the love is too large even as years pass, it lands heavily with a thud. No innocent dream can carry it forever, try as it may. This is when the heart grows tentative, taken over by a frantic quest for answers. Careers, degrees, marriages, divorces, children, hangovers, mistaken recognitions, fears of love lost or love never found. Exhaustion. Resignation.
Love is there, grazing, prancing. Just the right size. They come to us in this place and time because we have earned our way. Both of us. Instinctually, unavoidably, we are pulled because the fit is inevitable and perfect. Our love is great enough to carry them.
I’ve not been writing. Yesterday I blew a few barely graceful notes on my flute. There were lights to hang and my son could use a hand. So I lent him mine. This melancholy isn’t mine. It’s ours. We all see it. I let it walk with me. It keeps me out of the saddle because of a choice I made. Our hospital beds are nearly full. Two short months have passed at our new barn. Though I’ve taken a ride here and there the chance of a strong spook from a horse or a loss of balance on my part is greater now. We are all out of practice.
When the curtain falls the oboe players exhale, the soprano takes her bow on stage, and even the bass players feel a sense of renewed time.
When the curtain falls on the opera the piccolo returns to its case, lofty punctuation quieted. The small, the mighty, vanquished.
When the Grand Opera concludes the vacuum left behind refills with the mundane. Reality intrudes. We see our fellows, our smiles perplexed and smudged with the debris of conclusion. Air ringing, echoes of chords once clearly enunciated, pathos, logos, ethos, vaporized.
Grand Operas conclude and transcendence, that soul caressing gift, remains ephemeral. The overture, anticipatory by design, experienced long ago, now synoptic dust. Forward chords, moved by tension and relaxation, retreat to hidden space. Left to our own devices we crawl in suit jackets and pearls, hard, dark, separated.
The music lives in memory where beauty’s smooth flank nudges us, note by note, unexpectedly. Staff paper receives inspiration, as wriggling nascent epochs. We are scattered spots inked by Lucia’s blood. She sang. Our ears cupped grace. We are entwined. Our tears and laughter rush the stage. We are the Grand Opera.