In the middle of the afternoon broil, the shadows revealed themselves as beautiful monsters licking coolness onto my feet. Overnight, they turned themselves into rain clouds.
I just liked the flower and didn’t see the wasp at first. Neither seemed to care For my visit.
The police turned into riot police a few blocks away. The riot police turned into dream police inside my head. I’m so tired these days I can fall asleep to bullhorns and flashbangs. I protest all night long.
My dream task is to tie small pieces of rope in specific places along rows and rows of fencing. We don’t fully understand what it’s for, but we DO understand that it’s vital. And as we work, it becomes clear that we’ll not only never finish in time, but that we’ll simply never finish. So we rest when our hands get tired and watch the dream people ahead of us digging post holes for the fences and the people behind us, weaving flowers into the knots of the rope.
Then came the day when flowers flowed into the streets like rainwater. And we started to remember all the things that would never happen, but then they did.
Lights through trees. Light through water. Water through roots. Water through rocks.
I caught this tree mid-dance and didn’t disturb their choreography to ask how it felt to bend in the midst of so much straight.
Not surprising. The dahlia blooms ragged and bitten and even some rare rainy jewels can’t hide it.
Maybe I’ve run through my allotment of anger and frustration. All I feel is a small pulse of kindness beating beneath my exhaustion.
We live in a world where there are trees that smell like peanut butter. And we are a people that rightly named this tree the Harlequin Glorybower.
At one point, we wanted something, lost something, had something to say. Then the sun burned away our pleas and chased us into the shade to find a new way to ask and grieve and speak. Maybe this is the before. Maybe it’s the after.
We returned to the forest and let our pandemic hammocks swing us and the river water freeze us and the evergreen air breathe us and the frog king grant us wishes and the starred sky sleep us.
May we be well. May we be at peace.
May we know sustenance. May we know a perfect fit.
There will always be misfits. Sometimes we’re the violent ones. Sometimes we’re the brilliant ones. Sometimes we’re the fun ones, finding joy against the odds.
Back in the innocent/ignorant days, the ones without iPhones, Netflix, MacBooks, Google, Spotify, Uber, Postmates or email, I sat in my teenage bedroom and copied tapes off borrowed originals on a dual cassette player. Then I made my own covers. As I cut and glued and squeezed song titles onto tiny lines in my messy handwriting, whole albums washed over me. Over and over. There was nothing else to do. There was no way to know how much I’d eventually miss such unencumbered magic.