I’ve had this Mark Doty quote saved for long enough that I don’t remember where or when I first encountered it–definitely not during Mom’s illness, but I’m glad I have it now. This is from the memoir he wrote after losing his partner Wally, which I haven’t read (yet).


“And, I think, this greening does thaw at the edges, at least, of my own cold season. Joy sneaks in: listening to music, riding my bicycle, I catch myself feeling, in a way that’s as old as I am but suddenly seems unfamiliar, light. I have felt so heavy for so long. At first I felt odd–as if I shouldn’t be feeling this lightness, that familiar little catch of pleasure in the heart which is inexplicable, though a lovely passage of notes or the splendidly turned petal of a tulip has triggered it…I have the desire to be filled with sunlight, to soak my skin in as much of it as I can drink up, after the long interior darkness of this past season, the indoor vigil, in this harshest and darkest of winters, outside and in.”

Mark Doty, Heaven’s Coast: A Memoir