Perhaps in childhood when nights you waited at the foot of your bed, watching the moths draw their circumference around the streetlight as the stars fell, you listened to the quiet pumping of crickets and cicadas and wondered at the dense darkness of the forest below; and you caught a whiff of disappointment and it came from God; you had thought his great arm had reached across the road that shines like a snake at night, bringing a small offering of light, some jewel from a crown, but when God opened his palm in the solitude of your room, you beheld nothing. It was then that you turned to the wall and out of its paper, the roses, the carriages; the long, billowing skirts like down-turned umbrellas; it was all life that took your breath away, night after night out of paper, and the horses again and again their curved legs and hooves were all pieces of that magnificent moving alphabet.
Maybe every childhood is braided with quiescence: moments when a grey-blue haze enfolds the hum of the house, muffles the dog’s bark. Lakes sleep without a ripple. Suddenly a harsh flutter of ragged black wings erupts as an awkward shape emerges from the delicacy of the silent lake. Your question is the gaze you turn toward it. Its answer has no need to push or prove itself.