In the dark hour before dawn, the imprint of the closed lid lingers despite my opened eye. I remember this hour, the same hour, but on different days, in different years—I remember all these dark hours like pieces of a single dream that I am patching back together now, tenderly, with the pressure of my fingers on the pen. It’s a needle , this pen, like the one used in legend to re-stitch Peter Pan’s lost shadow to his fleet heels—the shadow of this dark hour before dawn likewise neither completely lost nor completely cast, and never quite distinguishable from all conjugal shadows.
The blue shadow on milk, it recalls that as well. The dark darting shadows of bats greeting dusk, it recalls those as well. Noon’s shadows, sharp as knives. The shadow ahead, the shadow behind, the shadows above and below—and the shadow within— these also are recalled and recast by this dark hour before dawn, this shade that slips away softly between sips of hot tea.
The sun’s rise is measured out by even the most minute of distances—for the cocks are already crowing, there, just beyond me, and their vocal semaphore has a shadow also, the shadow of silence, and I recall that as well. I worked hard yesterday—then, last night, this morning, there was and is the shadow of rest and I recall that as well. Indeed, though I am surrounded and enveloped by it right now, at this very moment, still the apparatus used to distill the perception of it is one of recollection—. Ah yes, the present moment, the shadow of presence, I recall that as well.