Oddly the dog lingers far behind, circling trees on the old field's perimeter, while I follow the slick road, steering by a crescent moon nearly lost in thinning clouds. All day you will not be here but all day your substitutes will drift in and out, mostly in the form of women, mostly bearing cradles of language. It's okay. Nothing happens we do not ask for.
Though closer to the brook - still sniffling from four days cold - I begin to perceive the evaporating veil and see through it to the Light of which we are all composed. The dog catches up, limping a little, and we stand beside snow banks peering up into the sky. Someone somewhere is calling on Jesus and this is His reply. How readily the mind turns to bluets and beyond to those we love on their account.
Well, home is west, and that's the way I go, slowly up icy hills, rehearsing old conversations. Snow-crested pines creak in soft breezes and sinking temperatures and I long briefly to enter the forest and go to sleep in its forever gathering center. Be still in order to give attention, and give attention that God might do so as well. I miss the mail, and other things too.
Two cups of tea, half a dozen shots of cider vinegar, four cloves of raw garlic, crystallized ginger cubes and finally a banana. The dog kisses me when I sit in the corner on a zafu as if grateful. Stories unfold, memorializing a self, and once you see it that way there is nothing left but to leave it. Wind in the hollows kicks ash down the chimney.
This writing, this way? As always I sing - cracked voice rising - the only songs I know. The prayer goes with us everywhere, as the only altar that matters cannot be broached by any body. What secrets we know who pretend to be rent by longing, as if the way were not already mapped by the One Whose Love created us!
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