Thursday, April 13, 2017

About Last Night

Tonight I climbed up on the roof, to get away from what I bring to myself, chaotic news of the world, and what I don’t cause myself, sorrows of friends and family, where comforting words in all of their variety are usually all that can be offered. It seems there is a lot of those lately. It is time to be on the roof.

The water is glassy, the lights from the shore, even the stars are dancing on the surface. Night birds call out, both raucous and melodic. I realize how tight my body is and pretend I know yoga, getting into that pose (when did I let my posture get so bad, when did every other word out of my mouth become fuck?). At first it feels fake, this attempt to relax but slowly I feel my muscles let go, little by little, until I am rocking, really more like soft swaying, on the slightest of ripples. 

It's about stillness. I'm not very good at that.
A boat goes by, out in the bay and 10 minutes later, its wake reaches us, the gentle motion becomes more of a definite pitching, side to side . I think about ripples and reactions. I didn’t hear the engine of the boat, it had gone on its way, but I felt it in the right now. 

Ripples and reactions. I stop that train of thought because the night has gotten darker and the stars are getting brighter, drawing me. I see Orion and one of the  Dippers. I see the false Southern Cross. The moon, one day past full, is not arriving yet. I'm momentarily deceived; it is the faint glow of St. Thomas, not the impending moonrise. Sparkling, moving, reds and blues and whites, the stars and planets reel overhead while I rock on the roof, a speck.

A flash of lightning lights up a huge cloud over Resaca. There is no thunder. The flashes come every five minutes or so, a flash, uplighting the clouds, two, three, four, five. I smell no rain. Maybe later. Semana Santa is famous for some crazy rains. My little gardens have been happy with the rain so far. 

Sitting up again, the water back to glass, a mosquito buzzes in my ear. I think of haikus by Issa about mosquitos. He was a very amusing guy, able in three lines to make me laugh often, his life observations so straight to the marrow of much. I think tomorrow I need to try to see the flamingo out at Dakity and hope it is still there. Without a supply of shrimp, he or she is white, a ghost flamingo. It’s right around the corner, why haven’t I already done this? Tomorrow I will, hoping the rise of activity doesn't scare it away. Stop thinking! Be on the roof.

Some Issa thoughts on mosquitos. 

Wind blows
lots of rips, my so-called 
mosquito net

mosquitos whine-
even the rustling bamboo
is slandered

a great spot 
to hear the cuckoo
but mosquitoes!

O owl
don’t tell the world my house
has no mosquito net!

for the mosquitos 
life is good…
a naked party

That place of clear mind never comes to me; that wasn’t really my goal anyway. My goal was to get on the roof, that wide clean space where nothing is, except my solar panel (making my little world work more easily - an object I feel pure gratitude for). Except for it, the space is empty, nothing to clean/fix/redo/think about. A canvas for nothingness. One day there will be a sleeping room up here. I need to keep it very Japanese, I think.

Full moon the night before

It was good to be quiet in this way. Around me is music and talking and laughter. Here in this little space is quiet. Up on the roof.

Have a think about it Thursday. Do something tranquil.


  1. Very nice and well put, I also try to get away by listening and watching life going on up on the roof. Trying to clear my mind, which is easier said than done.

    1. Thanks. And yes, easier said than done. I need to do it more.

  2. Wonderful, MJ. It touched me right where I needed touching. I'm missing the peace of Culebra more this year than ever before.

  3. MJ, I'm sure I am not the only "oldie" that thought of this tune after reading your post, William

    1. Oh, yes. That was definitely in my head. Thanks!