The Puzzle Calls its Pieces – December 27

I call them Gypsy Moments – a time when some rogue element intrudes into the mix. Perspectives shift, blinders fall away and things get interesting. They can’t be planned for, or manipulated, they just find you…and suddenly you’re outside the captured world – beyond the spins and spells that steal us from each other…and ourselves.  

Last night, out of nowhere, one kicked in when we stood before the window…and felt the moon – huge and disarming in the sky – blazing down on us like the scorched face of eternity. 

She and I are longtime friends and lovers – together physically but sometimes separated by the chippy hurts, petty truths that divide.

But there we were that evening, side by side, looking out at Winter in all its brutal honesty – trees stripped of leaves, Earth encased in snow…ghost breaths in the cold air. And from that bleak, frost-bitten landscape the insurgent moon rose up above clouds…and suddenly I was caught in the spell of its undying presence…a billion years of earthly drama playing out beneath its silent watch. 

The chills hit hard, leaving me feeling fragile and infinitely mortal. Our time together so short and precious. Wide-eyed, I turned to her and felt that Gypsy current find its way into our hearts. And for the rest of the night we relinquished control…stopped trying so hard…and let this strange confluence carry us along.

Fire in the hearth, bottles of wine, glasses filled and emptied as the talk came honest and easy. Story begetting story, we went back and forth, tales of sunsets and cigarettes along that winding road to somewhere. Bending over with laughter. Raising voices to explain or defend. Sometimes dissolving into tears – yet, all the while, deeply grateful for this chance to be unabashedly together again – best friends, sometimes only friend – in a world gone gray and hostile.

Eventually, as the fever of the telling broke, the night became more leisurely…then thoughtful…then still. During that pause it seemed she and I took the same inner leap – gazing out past all spiritual gossip and promises, to stand in some imagined future – out on the edge of Time, with the Void in striking distance. 

    She raised her eyes, caught mine. “The end game…when we’re old…how do you see it?” 

    “Not sure,” I said softly. “I suppose that’s the work.” 

    The room went quiet again, both of us filling up with uncertainty. Aging…dying…crossing over? How does it all work? Will dead ancestors gather, Angels come to welcome? Most basically, will the candle be completely blown out…or will the journey continue – winding roads and rabbit holes still to travel?

    I finally spoke. “Sometimes I see us as two travelers in the snow. Wandering out into the great unknown.” 

    She looked at me keenly. “Are we together?”

    “Oh God yes! More than ever.”

    “Well then…it will probably be okay.” 

We both sat with this for a while. Then I felt her hand slide into mine, a tightening grip…then a gradual letting go. We both turned, studied each other closely…and slowly, haltingly, found our way into an impossible smile.

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