Other Wind
11 / July11 / July11 / July

Another Sort of Tingling, or Looking for My Lark

Today started out with tingles inside, like I’d already had too much coffee. I am high strung with stressful news we got last night. I don’t even drink coffee, usually, except for the occasional morning boost or evening frou-frou flavored latte. So, this feeling annoys me and makes me feel so fragile I might break upon a wrong whisper from a friend or a stranger. At least I have a fresh haircut and a pretty new necklace around my neck.

Yesterday at work, we got a flyer about how to deal with stress. Breathe. Let go of small irritations. Get some fresh air. All good advice, but I hope to ease myself with this passage from Willa Cather’s Song of the Lark, about another sort of tingling, the kind I wouldn’t mind:

She ran for a long while about the white, moonlit streets, looking up at the stars and the bluish night, at the quiet houses sunk in black shade, the glittering sand hills. She loved the familiar trees, and the people in those little houses, and she loved the unknown world beyond Denver. She felt as if she were being pulled in two, between the desire to go away forever and the desire to stay forever. She had only twenty years—no time to lose.

Many a night that summer she left Dr. Archie’s office with a desire to run and run about those quiet streets until she wore out her shoes, or wore out the streets themselves; when her chest ached and it seemed as if her heart were spreading all over the desert. When she went home, it was not to go to sleep. She used to drag her mattress beside her low window and lie awake for a long while, vibrating with excitement, as a machine vibrates from speed. Life rushed in upon her through that window—or so it seemed. In reality, of course, life rushes from within, not from without. There is no work of art so big or so beautiful that it was not once all contained in some youthful body, like this one which lay on the floor in the moonlight, pulsing with ardor and anticipation.

from Part 1, Chapter 18