Here, in my home, I am tucked in on all sides. Houses and shadows and fences and punk rock bands and impatient traffic and yard debris and that thing, once useful, slowly making its way either toward the garbage bin or into the ground. These lives hold me. But with that vast valley still pushing at my ribs, I long for distance. I pull over in the midst of my busy driving day and let my gaze go out and out, across duck-filled waters and still-sleeping grasses toward that single snowy mountain peak so far away, it doesn’t even show up in a photo. My eyes relax. My ribs expand. And then I go rub Helen’s feet while she tells me the same bad joke over and over.
You don’t leave this behind. Even through four-hour van rides and airport pizza and the bounce and squeeze of a rough flight. You drive through afternoon traffic with your gut screaming at your indulgences. You stare into the screens that refuse to give you the right answers. You explain yourself to a spouse, a mother, a friend and they all say…huh? Still, that sky is in you and the dry, rocky earth that meets it. It wraps your torso, slips into your limbs, and climbs your spine. You feel it there. It tastes like tea and honey.
If this small evergreen bears some resemblance to the tangles of my hair then my hair resembles an evergreen. And sap flows through my trunk.
The firs bark like crows (and are full of crows). Two men sit on a patch of sun-warmed park grass and answer each other’s date questions. The goth girl picks the tiny daisy-like flowers and holds them between thumb and forefinger in a miniature bouquet. I stare at the crocus and wonder when they got so damn purple. I stare at the mostly not-quite-open apple blossoms next to a slightly older woman staring at the mostly not-quite-open apple blossoms. She and I don’t speak. We are busy silently thanking everyone and everything for showing up again to give it all another try.
Even in their early moments, they already capture the light. No, not capture but hold. Not hold, know. They know the light, let it in, let it through. Their shadows are rosy. Their futures are built from beauty.
Unfur yourself slowly. Reveal one slippery limb at a time. Burlesque isn’t my bag, but spring in Portland can tease me as long as it wants.
We were told that glass was a liquid. My young brain struggled around this piece of information. But I saw the heavy-bottomed windows and then the tiny trapped bubbles and thought What they’re saying is life is complicated.
Then I read that the thick-ended windows were just made that way, not the result of glass flow. And the bubbles were just my own watery embellishment. Glass is actually somewhere between liquid and solid. Amorphous. Disorganized. And I thought What they’re saying is life is complicated.