Yesterday is not today. Eyes immediately tear up, a response to pollen, when I step outside to water the garden. The person I thought of as my evening, just once, turned out to be partially ruined, like the peach I just placed in the compost. A house is like that, consuming hours. A face like a serrated leaf, looking down, as I always used to do. The prolific strangling vine destroying peonies and azaleas is only looking for a way to climb, as was someone I’d never met, destroying the person who I’d imagined as a companion in a tulle gown saying something over the top of a wine glass. This ruin was a reminder to actively decide what percentage of my nervous system I would allow to be electrified, hijacked or ravaged. Would it be more accurate to say that to develop empathy is not necessarily to set one’s face in a vise, but somehow to still be an evening, a breeze, a constitutional brightness. I held the hand of every over-ripe Sunday and pressed my eyes to the relevant page or gallery of evidence. I ignored any alarming bitterness pointed in my direction—groves of knife blades—the results of suffering. We are all wondering how to accept non-quixotic life, the one that comes after birth, love and age, the one emerging as a constant cycle of indigestible doom. How to still exist inside days containing habitable bodies and effervescent nights? I look to the plants, rocks, water and wind for advice.