I’m still sorting through a lot of old files and letters; I wrote this from New York in 1999.
It is Sunday morning, the last day of October. Somewhere in the city beyond (and beyond the city) one Person is awake and thinking; he wants to build a shelf for the closet—his Wife has too many hats. One Woman has forgotten where she put her slippers; her dog remembers, though he tears one slightly at a seam. One Man is lifting up a potted plant for the Lady across the counter; His Father was a florist in Brussels. One Minister is Praying over his sermon; some of the youth will not appreciate it, some of the deacons disapprove, some of the elders speak thoughtlessly over coffee—one Woman and two Men will change the direction of their lives. One Boy is waiting in the hamper to frighten his Sister when she walks into the room; their Parents work late and sleep still. One Father Kisses his Wife and Daughter good morning; he has to work today at his newsstand. One Man is cold on the sidewalk with a group of Friends, their breath steams with the life of speaking. Outside their windows this river flowing by becomes quickly an ocean—carrying leaves from the front of my window. All my faceless leaves and these People who are formless from this room, yet speak and pray or remain silent—these fragments form a whole of unknown parts. Someone rings a bell in the distance. All those people are happening at this one moment; their actions and decisions behind those actions move them along to the next moment…the next, the next, yet they are all here in this one space of time. My fingers tap out words for them and the next moment comes.
Beyond the window, the trees, the river, and every city are People I know and hold dear. They are waking, have made a breakfast, are praying, speaking, shaving, reading, loving, watching the leaves. All this activity—all the activity behind windows in all the cities, yet we are connected like the leaves on a tree. We remain and grow and color; no matter the distance between branches we feed from the same stem. We are alive and have grown together from green buds. Though every leaf is still separate. Among this short list of kindred people—every one a distinct voice, face, prayer, love, yet still all connected to the branches—still breathing and drawing life from a single source.
It is Sunday morning, the last day of October. Outside my widow the calendar of nature is turning to Fall. I am inside with a voice. My voice is not loud, perhaps it should speak with more force. I am inside with a prayer. My prayer is not always spoken well, perhaps it should pray with more faith. I am inside with a love. My love is not loud; my love is not enough prayed for. There is a calendar in the leaves and we are all connected to the Branch. I cannot sit here inside the windows and call for Spring. There is a turning season; I do not know what each season brings. We are connected to the Branch and the tree is living. The sun breaks through and shines on my table. Leaves fall; some are evergreen.