At the Window M A R C H 2 0 1 1She stood by the window and waited. She waited not for something to come to her, because her horizon was already full: the sash of the window, the slant of the roof, the street below with its cars parked in the winter sun, the ticking of the bedroom clock. She waited not for something else because, for the moment at least, her old companion, impatience, and her tutor, patience, were not there, and so she waited without expectation as if her waiting was nothing more than an openness that left everything behind and asked for nothing else.
A bird flew into her view and landed on a wire. It looked to one side and then the other, and then waited there, still. She felt her own waiting joined by the bird's, though nothing had been added. Without knowing it she felt the arrival of that which was on the other side of her horizon, though it was not this bird or the trembling wire, who were now with her here. What arrived didn't land anywhere, unless she could say it laid claim to her peaceful waiting itself. Nothing had changed, nothing had happened, yet now a transparence rested everywhere – though bird and wire and street still kept their colors – a transparence that was also perfectly motionless, though the bird flew off and the wire trembled again.What is this arrival? she wondered, and in that question her impatience smiled up at her, glad to be back. She closed her eyes, and let the question go, or rather, its hope for an answer. She wondered if the still transparence would come back now, but it didn't, so she stopped caring if it did or didn't. She just waited without waiting, eyes closed, standing by the window, leaning lightly against the sash.
She felt it first in her back, in the muscles and bones of her back – the arrival – though to call it an arrival just meant that she felt the density of her back become transparent. Her waiting, if she could call it that, the opening of her waiting, became indistinguishable from the opening of this transparence, and it spread to her chest and then her throat, and down into her belly, and then all at once her whole body – feet, legs, pelvis, hands, arms, skull – became transparent.
She opened her eyes, a whiff of fear that she was losing her mind. She glanced down at her body and saw it was still there, but its transparence was too, though not seen by her eyes. The street below was just as it was. A yellow car drove up, parked, a man got out, closed the door, motioned with his key and the car made an obedient beep. The man walked away. She saw and heard all this: the yellow car, its movement, the beep, the man appearing and disappearing, all these things contained within her horizon appeared to her as if given out of the transparence, though the transparence didn't do anything, or become more or less.
What is on the other side of my horizon is here, she thought. I don't have to do anything. This not-doing is my waiting, a continuous opening-up, a continuous releasing. But what am I releasing into?
She watched as an unlatched gate moved slightly in a small breeze.
The transparence is opening toward me! It's meeting my own opening to it! Or are they actually two, these openings?
All at once she felt the enormous intimacy of things, her body included, prior to the thought of any meeting. And though this intimacy was unique to this moment, she felt with it an old belonging, older than her life, of an origin that bequeathed to her its unspeakable beauty. It took her breath away, though her breathing continued peacefully. The transparence of her waiting released into the arrival of what was beyond her horizon, and she stood there, quietly, thankful for being allowed to thank.