this is not a still life

Monastic life. #desertroadtrip #sanctityinthewilderness #santaritaabbey

The jaws of the house were pried open by the squawks of women, who inhabited the place like noisy birds, chittering like lunatics. The dust on the furniture had not been touched for years. (It is possible to live somewhere and never touch the surfaces of the objects in it, objects stationed like islands, merely existing in an ocean of voices and spirits, which are the real materials of households held up by circuitous irrationalities.) The only thing keeping the house from ruin was the insanity it possessed: insanity the flesh, the lifeblood, the current moving through a wooden skeleton.

In the morning, hot water boiled on the stove. Coffee grounds waited in a can. A book sat open on a wooden credenza, which had been sanded down to soap-like perfection. White cotton panties draped atop ivory candles, melted down like tears. Lozenge wrappers that had missed the wastebasket lay like petals scattered by flower girls, waiting to be picked up by a gust of human wind. There was nothing new about today, the same quietness delicately hovering above a pot of dawn darkness. Lukewarm blood, not yet rolling. Her stomach, the keeper of her every sadness, anxiety, restless thought, was clenched like a baby’s fist senselessly holding onto the seams of scrap linen, as if the tension of her hand could stop time from tumbling forward. She had labored to sleep, an effort made more tireless by rushes of dreaming and feeling that the ordinary tedium of daylight holds at bay. These fuzzy, flickering pictures of a past not yet forgotten and a future so far forward were the bookends of her unconscious mind.


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