We sprawl on the living room floor alongside the dog. Damp from our run, we stretch in the low light and work our hands down under the stubborn weight of our shared lassitude. They call it Weltschmerz. I call it unwelcome. I angle myself against it. Endorphins are my lever; grit, my fulcrum. It barely moves.
In the hours preceding this moment, in all the hours in all the days that fasten together like chain link, we work. In our respective offices in the company of our respective bands of fools, we grind upward and forward against a blind rock face. Tasks, demands, questions whose only answers we must hand-stitch from materials stashed in unmarked cabinets. The stone there is as unyielding as the mood seeping into us as we strain against it.
The dog licks and licks, rolling over and nipping at the back of his shirt, hoping to avoid a scolding.
Once upon a time, we lived in that cloud-furred treehouse Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow. Maybe it was only for an evening, or the length of a paddle stroke through churning river, or the width of a felt line across the blank page. We have lived there.
It has been so long.
We stand up together, the dog stretching upright and nosing our shins. We consider the easel, we take the measure of a bucket of markers.
As we edge our way back to that recollection, we lean into its threshold and touch our fingers to the empty place where the door should be.
He removes the red cap. I, the blue.
Like Harold with his purple crayon, we draw the door open.
It has a sound.
The dog with her ears cocked hears it too.
It is the way you know in the forest that water is near.
It is the way you move towards it.
It sounds like sighs. It sounds like Here.