This morning I’ve been working on the edits for my forthcoming book, Euclid’s Orchard. I have the most perceptive editor in Pearl Luke and her notes challenge me to go a little deeper, to clarify, to find the best words. My eyes are a bit strained by the effort of looking at the screen, contemplating commas. But just now I walked out of my study and saw the glass piece we gave to each other for Christmas, made by our friend June Malaka. It’s hanging in a south-facing window and all winter I loved how the light came through the orbs of different glass. Winter light, sombre and diffuse. But today, there’s spring light and a budding lilac behind it.
The world comes in. It comes to a woman sitting at her desk, it finds its way into her writing, her heart. It reminds her of everything she’s looked at and remembered.
One day a single light brown coyote came out of the woods and walked by my window. It had all the time in the world. It passed the wing of rooms where my children grew up. It passed the windows they looked out at night, first thing in the morning, drawing their curtains to let sunlight in or the grey light of winter, in excitement, lonely or sleepless, in good health and bad, dazzled with new love or sorrow, at the lack of it, on the eve of their birthdays, new ventures, on the eve of leaving home. I went to the back of the house to see where the animal was headed but it did what coyotes do, a trick I wish I could also learn. It dematerialized. Vanished into thin air.
–from “Euclid’s Orchard”, title essay of forthcoming book.