I Carry Your Heart - Chapter 8

~ What a Moon Means

Home. So much to do in preparation of going below. She dumped an armload of mail on the table, the usual flyers and announcements of charitable events. There was a large envelope from her Father’s law partner – her settlement package she was sure. It could wait.

She lifted her gift from its cushioned wrappings. A heat rose from it, a heat that was at once reflected and absorbed by the glimmering stone beneath the intimate figures. It was the dreamscape of her heart. When she went into her bedroom to pack, she carried the sculpture with her and, from its vantage point on her nightstand, it seemed to both calm and electrify her feelings.

I can only carry one bag. What to take ...

The softest, the warmest without weighty bulk ... delicate ... pretty. She began an appraisal of one item after another. A few outfits were easy and she could borrow below, but she needed one special thing. She flung hangers back and back against each other. No, no, too tight, too ... complicated. Seen it, seen it, seen it. She attacked her dresser and finally her sheer and lovely nightclothes were scattered all about. The floor was a ripple of peach and blue and rose and nothing would do.

One last drawer at the bottom of her armoire called to her. She dragged it open, finding fault with each filmy thing – until her hand touched a tissue-wrapped parcel in the very back.

She remembered the day she purchased it ... early on, just after meeting Elliot. She’d passed a trousseau shop and compelled to enter, had gravitated to the lingerie.

“When's the big day?” the sales clerk asked her.

“Just looking.” She responded curtly, a curl of pain cutting off her words, for at that very moment, she felt more than heard an outcry of objection ... of grief ... an overshadowing of the amative thoughts she entertained for Elliott ... as if Vincent protested and she had heard.

She felt disoriented, disconcerted, but continued through the racks, trailing her fingers along the padded hangers until she stopped at this one. Until she tried this one on. Until she carried this one home in its silvery paper and placed it at the bottom of her armoire, at the back of the drawer, where it lay to this day.

Yes ...

A Jane Woolrich vision that cost too much but would not be denied. A long cream-colored silk with handmade French lace panels, the thinnest of straps, the back cut daringly low and edged of a diaphanous lace, crisscrossed with thin cording all the way past the hips ... the bodice tied with the same cording, panels of delicate lace held barely together at the bosom, ribbon by ribbon, down to a flare of skirt.

Drawn from the tissue, held high, it fluttered in the breeze from the balcony and she remembered something Maya Angelou once said. “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.”

She cast a look at her clothes strewn all about and scooped them into her closet, closing the door on the disarray. Later. Time was passing and she grew restless to be gone.

Almost ready. Her single bag packed with what seemed essential; her gift lovingly re-wrapped, but lacking accompaniment. She needed a letter or a poem, the right words written out in case her own failed her. She stood, hands pressed to her face, studying one shelf of books and then another, calling on Calliope or Erato to help her and help her now. Then it came to her. Not classic perhaps and from a less romantic era, but with a strange power. She found her college poetry anthology and there it was. Copying it onto a heavy ecru card, she tucked the poem into the wrappings of her gift.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart) 1

forevermore, Catherine


1. e. e. cummings. i carry your heart. 95 Poems. 1958. 

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Vicky said...

So beautiful... I'm having such a lovely time reading this again!

Brandy said...

Whoops, love, you forgot to credit the poem! e.e. cummings?

And I love Catherine's fight with her wardrobe; just how many nightgowns DOES the woman own? I'm a clotheshorse myself, and her piles of "blues and white and roses" and "seen it...seen it...SEEN IT" is a place I've been too.

Carole W said...

Whoops, is right! Fixed that Brandy. Thanks for the heads up.

On the BBTV list, I've just learned that some of Catherine's nightwear was SHARED by Blanche of Golden Girls! What a hoot that is.

Vincent either saw or imagined Catherine in who knows how many nightgowns. The imagined ones were extra lovely.

elliott1410 said...

Your website was provided to my by jitterbug and I forever grateful to her for that. I just finished reading the first nine chapters and can't wait to return and read more. So far, I am loving it! But since I am work reading this, figured I had better give my job a little time. But it was hard to stop!


Carole W said...

Hi, Elliott1410! I'll have to send Jitterbug a big virtual hug - she's so kind to recommend my stories. I am truly thrilled to read you've enjoyed I Carry to this point. I hope you continue to do so, all the way through to the end. :-)

(things heat up a bit around chapter 13!)

Thank you very much for leaving a comment. It's so encouraging for me and I really appreciate that you said hello.

~ Carole

Anonymous said...

AS my re-reading fest continues, I must thank you for introducing me to the wonderful e e cummings poem "i carry your heart." It has become one of my favorites (and there are many)!

Best regards, Lindariel