Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Kind of Solitudinous Joy

The chairs and table we bought at a garage sale a few years after moving back to Massachusetts. Grackles attend, the cool gold of their eyes visible even twenty yards away. Snow falls away, daffodils pose their elegant interrogatory, and now it is twilight. One cannot breathe when faced with so many stars.

The obligations of service bear down on me, rendering the body weary, and a decision is made to put the soul "over there" and get back to it later. Books, letters, promises. I think of all the ways a landscape can be desirable, each of which is yet another reflection of the trickster in who we invest. I've moved on so you move on too.

Or else what? I remember discovering apple trees deep in the forest, later seeing my first bear while alone, and wondering - I was five years old at this point - how anything else in life would measure up. This was all about seven miles that way, a thousand years ago, and countless thoughts. Thought, by the way, is more like a renegade army without commanders than an ally in our search for ultimate truths.

Herons approach now, trout take different cognition of their hunger. For a while - in Spring - the trails are loose and crumbling, and one walks slowly, always looking down. I am talking about the decision to remain ungrateful, or only partially grateful (which is just ungrateful in semantic frippery). When I killed the goats she tried to help and it was then I cried, sagging against the barn wall, tired of knowing so much about death, and tireder still of always dealing it out.

Find the source of your conviction that God demands sacrifice and question it, that's all. Blue sky behind slow-moving streaks of white, and farther north - possibly over Cummington - storm clouds, bunched and dark like the devil's idea of blossoms. We move past the mating dance into the real work, which is simply correcting the mistaken dream of subject/object, and it's not necessary to be together to do it. Far out to sea whales surface under glittering stars, drift between swells, billowing compositions who witness a kind of solitudinous joy, not unlike - even now - ourselves.

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