Jacob van Hulsdonck, "A Still Life With Wild Strawberries and a Carnation in a Ming Dynasty, Wanli Period, Blue And White Kraak-Type Barbed-Rim Bowl, with Cherries and Redcurrants on a Wooden Ledge," 1620
Unwinding the contents of memory—here I am, in the deep place, having crept past the horde-guardian who happens to be my other self. Once, when I was no longer a child, I had a friend who understood all of what mattered to me, about me, except my loneliness. How could he? We were so young, and I never understood it myself. Reading Beckett to one another in whispers over the phone after midnight, while our parents slept and dreamt their fretful dreams; the voice of my friend in my ear, so soft, reading, “If you think of the forms and light of other days…” And so I do. Now, I tell myself, think of those forms—and the light is time-lapsed, flickering over a meadow where tiny wild strawberries grow, shadows lengthening then snapping back with each shimmering day. I can almost hear a bird, some forgotten bird, chirring. But that would be daylight; and my friend and I, we were closest when hidden in shadow.