The open window admits the last light
of a long summer day. No breath of breeze
stirs the curtain’s gauze. All is still
but sounds creep in, cars and children
cicadas and leafblowers like roaring lions.
Gold limns the curtain and the tree tops gilded
and the sky’s golden glow gashes her heart.
And she, standing by the window,
weary beyond weeping and worry,
winds the scraps of sunlight on her spindle
and whispers the well-worn words,
familiar phrases for day’s dying,
to lay all her gathering ghosts to rest:
May you find more and gentler light than you can imagine.
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My friend Kyra, with whom I share a deep and abiding love for the novels of Guy Gavriel Kay, shared this photo of the light coming through her window. It was originally taken three years ago, but in the lovely way of Facebook memories, it arose again yesterday.
The sun is setting, everything is golden, and I feel like doing the invocations for Jad as He travels through the dark underworld until morning.
When I pray for the dead, the first prayer that occurs is from The Lions of Al-Rassan, “May you find more and gentler light than you can imagine.”
The final line of the poem is from Guy Gavriel Kay, and it’s one Kyra often recites as a prayer for the dying, one which feels to me like an echo or my own favorite invocation: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and perpetual light shine upon them. Lovers of Kay will find other echoes in the poem. Kyra is a spinner, both of wool and words, though she’s often too overwhelmed with life to ply either art.