Inside the pages of night’s book

I wake in the evenings in this season of my life, an hour or two after the sun has gone down. I sit at the desk at night, and I lie back down as the sun climbs up the sky. I wake in the supple arms of a darkness distinct from every other darkness that has come before it, so why should I, and how could I, stay the same, as if I am not subject to the same law that keeps the seasons changing? The law of invisible evidence tells me I too am distinct, but not separate. No space exists between my essence and the presence of night, for I rest inside the pages of night’s book. It is a good night to stay within these lines.

I wake in the morning

I wake in the morning
and do not like my own face.
I sit back down at the desk and keep writing.

I walk around reading some words aloud
and do not like the sound of my own voice.
I sit back down at the desk and keep writing.

All but my hands are still.
I sit like a cat, alert and wary,
and pray to give way to silence.

“The Rest”

A night of rest from scholarly struggle,
from work of an external degree,
for an infernal degree.
And how do I rest?
I rest my back against the chair,
and I begin once more the struggle with myself.

I don’t understand the external struggle,
I don’t know how much good it does,
I don’t think much of it.
I forget to think too much tonight,
I forget all but the rest,
I forget all the rest and remember.

There can be no rest, I think,
as I rest my mind from the part I play
and bring my wakeful attention to the rest.
There is no best way, I think,
only to rest from all idea of first and best
and bring wakeful remembrance to the rest.

What is the rest?
Can the rest be reached by resting?
Can the rest be reached by working?
Can the rest be reached by unrest?
Can the rest be reached at all?
Should I rest in it, or should I wrest from it?
I reach for the rest and grasp nothing.

One student reaches her hand up high,
but the teacher does not call on her.
The student reaches too eagerly,
so readily that it is clear she is not ready.
No.
If she were ready she would not reach.
If she were ready she would not need to be called on.

What would she need if she were ready?

Something in me won’t rest until it finds rest.
It will never find rest.
Something in me loves to struggle,
and believes it struggles towards the rest.
Something in me rests and looks and
does not look to find.
Something in me is called in,
and does not ask why.

The rest is not history,
The rest is not to come,
Here I rest and here I am.
Am I here in the rest?
Here I rest, and the rest is also here.
Here I rest in who I am.

One student does not reach her hand up.
She tells herself that she does not know the answer.
What she tells herself is not wrong,
but it is not wrong that she does not know the answer.
Should she wait until she knows the answer?
Should she wait until she is ready?

What does she need to be ready?