A Million Little Oblivions

Then I went out into the million little oblivions of which the day was made. Clouds collided and combined above me like brains and brief beings and then like nothing at all, and two foul-smelling peccaries snuffed and shuffled over the bristling volcanic land of which they seemed extreme instances, and in a weird little weed-cleared space the bones of five antelope lay tangled and whitened like the last leap of a single creature. I met up with my friend and we talked of the work we’d done that day, and the lives out of which that work had come, and further back the vanished lives out of which our own lives had come. We turned toward home because the dark was gathering, the cold was sharpening, but we were so deep into conversation that I hardly knew the walk was ending, as climbing step by step as from a storm cellar up from a family’s madness, sadness, cold enclosure that her own mind had wrought, she said, “And yet I seem to have been given a happy soul.”

— Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss

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