Yesterday we left our suite at UBC just about 10 a.m. and arrived home around 4:00. There was a brief moment when I had difficulty getting John into the car when I wondered if we were crazy to attempt to drive home but then he was buckled in, a blanket wrapped around him, all our stuff loaded into the back, and we were on our way across Vancouver to the ferry. I drove us home with more tension in my neck and shoulders than I think I’d ever experienced before but things I was worried about didn’t materialize. The things I’d been awake most of the night thinking about so that when morning came, I was dizzy with tiredness. But also eager to try to move into the new chapter. Before we left for Vancouver 10 days ago, I’d set up a bed for John on one of our couches, a cedar-framed wide bench with a linen-covered foam base for which we’d had an additional foam mattress cut and covered to bring the couch to the required height for people who are recuperating from hip replacement surgery. It was wonderful to drive up our long driveway to see our house waiting at the top. What was less wonderful was the sight of the wooden bin where we keep the garbage cans dragged out and the cans themselves chewed up a bit. These are the cans where we put stuff that shouldn’t attract bears. Old wire, scraps of stuff from the printshop: that sort of thing, certainly nothing edible. Tell that to the bear. He’d also upended one of the compost boxes but thankfully it wasn’t broken.
Into the house where I made a good fire and brought in the chair with the special foam cushion and we sat there, grateful to be home. Our neighbour phoned to say she was going to leave something on our deck– our neighbour who confessed she’d already put the garbage back after a bear visit earlier in the week, sigh– and the something was a carton of her delicious squash and apple soup, a pan of cheese biscuits, and a jar of the most beautiful dahlias. There are angels among us, even in this frightening world.
I slept on the other couch so I could be near if John needed me in the night. But he got up on his own and I heard him go down to the bathroom and when we woke, it was 6:30 a.m. I’d dreamed I’d taken Anne Carson to Egmont to show her around, though why Anne Carson would want to hang out with me in Egmont is beyond me, and we watched two grizzly bears on the opposite side of the inlet entering the water to swim across to where we were standing. To my surprise, Anne didn’t recite Sappho.
When I woke and waited for John to return to his narrow bed in the night, I watched the moon out the big window at the end of the room. A waxing gibbous moon moving towards its blue moon state next Saturday. The sky was pricked with stars. Maybe Anne was too busy watching the grizzlies swimming towards us to remember Fragment 34 but I’m sure this was the poem she’d have remembered if she’d been in our house last night:
stars around the beautiful moon
hide back their luminous form
whenever all full she shines
on the earth