The Light in the Living Room


Light in the living room before dawn on a midwinter day: the fireplace with its flickering flames. A painting above the mantel, in shades of slate and coal and gray – a drummer and a guitarist and a bass player, all motion and youth. A soft yellow lamp haloing the saffron wall. A painting by the door, of God breathing light into Adam. The bluish glow of a laptop screen. The sun sliding slowly up over the roofs across the street, glinting on the aluminum flashing of the chimneys. A friend’s note shimmering up on the screen: “Did you see that spectacular moon this morning, like an eye closing, before it set?” A painting by the bookcase, of a small girl entering a deep wood, light from the distant sun filtering down to illuminate a clearing. Through the window, the double row of tiny white lights strung up around the porch, soon to blink out when the sun is truly up. This seven-hundred-year-old poem, “With that Moon Language,” by a Persian poet named Hafiz.

Admit something:

Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud; otherwise,
someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us
to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a full moon
in each eye that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

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