The punk rock kids across the street still sit on their front steps and smoke. The builders rebuilding the burnt down house across the street still nail and paint. But clients call and cancel, unable to step outside to get the mail. And I only duck out for thirty seconds at a time to the garbage, to the car. Goodman lays on my chest every morning and every night and offers himself up as something better to behold.
Nearly two weeks ago, seeds hung in the trees like end-of-summer ornaments and the trumpet vines sounded out a sweet, melancholy tune. I can’t wait to visit them again and see them cracked, wilted, and washed in early fall rain.
There’s a thing called “fugitive dust” used to define the bits of earth that escape naturally into the air, not the bits forced out by car or factory. We move the dust off our porches or plants or bookshelves and want to call out Beginning or End like we call out shotgun. We want to take
our place. But we’re in the middle (because it’s all middle) and the once recognizable is always escaping into the ether or falling to the dusty earth. There’s no stopping. We are made of fugitives.
And so we add another partner to our unruly dance with grief. My thighs are bruised and my back is sore but so are everybody else’s. We are lucky in this way; Here is where we get to show up and show our love.
I watched the storm cloud approach with its gray underbelly and smelled the almost-rain, welcoming it with a happy sigh. But the cloud passed without a drop, moving toward other anticipations and worries.
I fall into a box of paper on the sidewalk. Into a valley. A mountain range. A cave.
We should never have assumed that all that vibrant gloss was anything but surface. That kind of shine may get built in the gnarled dark but it needs the light to live.
I’m the tiniest bit surprised at how much my blackberry tattoo has faded and how little soreness I have from my flu shot this year. This is the last week of my forties. I wonder if I care?
esterday morning, the damp but rainless air put a hush on the neighborhood. Both Christmas morning quiet and muted melancholy. How could there be so many beautiful presents but none from the person you miss the most?
In the middle of the block, beneath a tree, was a gross fungi the size of a dinner plate. Across the street, two men in dusty clothes sat on the curb eating sandwiches. They didn’t see me crouch to take a pic of the giant mushroom and didn’t know that, at eye level, it looked like bread pudding.
Even as they curl toward rest, they blush. Something new rises from the center, ready for the rest of on and on.
Bend toward the ground and stay there until you lose something. Instead of uncertainty, call it wonder.
The skins of one tree, across three limbs. The sunlights across us all.
Maybe it was my body, flushed and spotted with sun, but yesterday the ocean body felt sun-warmed too. I stood unnumbed, watching topography and cloudscapes wash over my feet.
The geese took off from the pond in front of me, flying so close overhead I could have stood on my chair and touched the white feathers of their bellies. The sun did a bank shot off the water and into the blackened hollow of a burnt out tree. The chipmunks ran out from under the deck but never toward it. The coyotes alarmed the night. And in the day it was crows and jays and other chipper twittering. It was hummingbirds, crickets, dragonflies, bees, moths, spiders. What? You think spiders are soundless? It was a soft, electric hum from the house up the hill. A few cars passing on the gravel road beyond it. And a few distant gunshots. A prop plane, circling. My heart thump. My exhale. The click of one 50 year old bone settling into another 50 year old bone as I bent to scratch my foot. Quiet composed itself this way, gathering its innumerable notes, longing to be full.