Photo Freewrite: Week 20/21


This would have been a block I raced by as a kid. A place where the doors don’t have handles, the stairs are more moss than concrete, and the ground cover is just waiting for its moment to devour. Why make the walls out of holes if you didn’t want everyone passing by to know that there’s nothing inside but darkness?


The trees laugh at us as we dash to their sides in the downpour. But they also wave us in. Come on, come on. Quick! What they don’t know is that we mostly love the rain and don’t mind walking home wet. We just want an excuse to gather in close and listen to the applause of water falling/feeding.


What you might see if you look from below: The glorious beam of a cathedral’s arch. A string of lanterns hung over a night market. A family of white socks hung from a balcony to dry. Ghosts.


I wake up and don’t know who I am or where I am or what year it is. I lost my work ten weeks ago. But maybe it was 10 months. And maybe I’m Muhammad Ali. Or more likely his opponent. All I feel is float and sting.


This tree spoke eighteen different languages. All at once. And their sentences felt like an exquisite dance choreographed by a collaboration between Alvin Ailey, Piña Bausch and a second line parade. The meaning vibrated through my ribs and was gone.


No need for threats or showy displays. Sometimes all you need is the suggestion. A request, really. Please stay, but approach with care.


The cat grass has been growing inside for days. This is not rain. Or dew. So what then? Tears? Spit? Organically grown crystal balls each predicting a short but beautiful life? The cats circle, curious but uncertain.


And then we fall. Licked by rain and pressed by feet into our next life.


Again, a life unpuzzled. Color becomes air. Veins become skeletons, undone bone by bone. What a relief.

These old grumpy friends from my old grumpy city, the one trampled by the ridiculous teenager of a town we now live in. Instead of kicking through the high grass around the train tracks and all that wide space where the city used to peter out, I’m guided toward a concrete walkway along the river, lined with condos. But the river is still the river, the bridge still bellows when you stand beneath it and for now a few ragged friends are still around.


This soft, green inch. Not novel but new. This is how we reach toward each other. Slow. Tender. Bright.

Full bloom is a fabulous blowout. But those last few anticipatory days are where I’d rather linger. The unexpected shapes of becoming.


What if I had to count all the raindrops clinging to the greenery after every passing shower? It wouldn’t be the tally that mattered, but how my eye lingered over each one, how my body ached from being bent to the task, and how my feet got wet from all rain that slipped off the leaves into the dirt.

The storm tumbles through. The storm slides off and into. The map clears. The terrain shifts.

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