Photo Freewrite Week 24/25


No words today. Just color and light


I heard two gunshots in the middle of the night, close but not too close. And then I chased the guns through my dreams, one gun for each BANG. In the middle of my third dream, the guns turned into knives and the bangs turned into murder, one knife for each. Still, I could never find them. The dream people cared, but not too much. On waking, the knives turned into fireworks. The bangs turned into protest. Murder shook down into the earth and disappeared.


If you are always looking down, then crouch. If you are always looking straight ahead, then tilt. If you are always looking up, then fly.


This tree told me nothing, but smiled sweetly like a grandmother who knew her best advice was no advice at all. She would simply be there, watching over, while I wandered around unknowing.


A patch of lush abandonment called to me from amongst the wealthy and well-manicured homes. It promised my eight-year old self green luxury, a nose happy with damp earth and a heart full of shared secrets. Maybe I’ll go back tomorrow and live there.


For decades I didn’t remember my dreams and would occasionally wish for a richer sleep. But now every night is dense with mild chaos and strange work. I will grow used to this confusing weight even if I remain confused.

So often we just get slabs of grey or something streaky at sunset, but then came a day of meaty clouds made into real shapes and we all had a chance to point skyward and disagree about something that didn’t matter for a change. I see a swan. I see a dragon. I see an umbrella tumbling in the wind.


Our county reopens tomorrow, joining the country’s patchwork of We’re trying our best out here on our own and Responsibility’s for suckers. We have RIGHTS!! and Everyone cross your fingers and wash your hands. The allium, at least, is ready. Mask on.

I’m shy around people I admire so I was reluctant to take pictures, but how could I not? This poplar was generous and let me take a few, but asking for a selfie seemed crude. I simply thanked them for all they’d done and with a nod of my head, continued my walk.


As I walked home, I said hello to the old record store a couple blocks from my old apartment (that I said hello to) that overlooked the hospice that housed AIDS patients which I also said hello to. And a hello to the once-wide yard (now buried under condos) of my partner’s once-shabby home another block away. And all the way up the street, these silent greetings to all the places that I once lived or worked or kissed or cried. Not nostalgia, but a nod of recognition to all my ghosts.


The smoke tree and I have a lot to talk about. The tree said look past my raindrop diamonds and realize this thing you call smoke isn’t soft. Realize, I prefer winter. Many of us do. The quiet. The rest. The literal return to our roots. The tree said thanks for the company, but put down your camera next time. Let’s do this off the record in that language you’ve been practicing called breath. Let’s practice ignoring the awkward stares we’ll get for you standing silently next to me, no project at hand. And stay. Stay well into the hour of discomfort. There really isn’t something better to do.


This is no longer your drinking water. This is your wildflower ranch. Your sky pool. Your imagination reservoir. Toss your wishes in and see if they can swim.


Some day in some places everything will be nothing but all the kinds of green and there will be no one left who wants or can or should scrub it back to blue and gray.

I was with one of my humans so I didn’t stop to talk. You all carried on as usual, mostly ignoring our presence but happy enough to have us around. I noticed your tolerance for the shouts of children down at the river’s edge, and tried to follow suit. The chirp of birds. The chirp of children. Just add it to the orchestra. The crackle of drying moss, the heavy breathing of the firs, the perpetual applause of the leaves.

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