The Last

So go ahead, but know it may be the last
Of your throw-aways
Cause lately, it’s not so fast.

Met Jeremy B. at the FIlm Forum last night to see Amour. It was deeply upsetting, and one of the most beautiful films I’ve every seen. The camera lingered for long minutes over old skin and frightened eyes. It was aptly named. Love as far from obsession and neurotic longing as I can imagine. Old age is not for sissies. LM’s dad used to say that. Neither is love. Not that I know much about that kind of love. Maybe I never will. But I hope to be wrong about that. I know life still holds a few surprises before the last surprise. Maybe love will be one of them.

I’ve surrendered, accepted my lot, lonely but precious. I’ve been given so much by nature, or God, or the randomness of life. Among the gifts, a couple I might give back: depression and neuroses, but without these would I have turned to the work that has given my life meaning? Probably not, and it’s writing and music that have been my main-stays, and the way I am best able to communicate and connect with other human beings.

I’m settling into my new place. It feels right in a way the last one never did. It is completely silent here, a shocking and rare find in NYC. I have western views of gardens, rooftops, a church steeple, and a tall maple tree, the resting spot for many birds of all kinds. Yesterday, I made a fire in the fireplace, a few snow flakes were falling. I was reading the second chapter of Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes — I’ve started the stories of Tenth of December, too, by George Saunders, which is mind-blowingly good. Everything I read teaches me how to write, so I’m very careful about what I take in. Anyway, I felt so content with all of it: the book, Doe and the cats asleep, large mug of coffee, of course.

In the bedroom, there is a window that faces south and from late morning to late afternoon the sun pours in. I think I’ll have this place for a long time, maybe until I can no longer make it up the five flights, which will happen at some point. I know that. I’m in touch with how quickly it goes. But it’s not a bad feeling, really. I like the way reality has revealed itself. It’s a reward of aging, an awareness that existence itself is unlikely, miraculous. Someday, the world as we know it may no longer exist. How lucky we are to have the experience of being alive.

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