Monday, May 5, 2014

Hunting the Crumbs

Setting sun illuminating laundry filled with wind, shirts and jeans blown skyward, straining at the wooden clips that bind them. That, always that. While earlier a barn owl sailed low across the trail before me, coming to rest in a budding maple tree, as calm and disdainful as theology in the seventeenth century.

Chickadees come in to feed, picking through plush grass for what the other birds miss. Beggars are okay and we are all hunting the crumbs of God. Oh Gretel, thank you for taking such good care of the white bird, the regal harmonious swan, and your brother too, who needs you still.

Rereading Hillman on the heart one stumbles across that line that the first person singular is neither first, nor a person, nor singular, and remembers the long years of study in Vermont, so lonely and tired, always ready to drift across the lake back to her. Shad move in the river now, their silvery muscles packed with bone, making me think for no obvious reason of tobacco, and canoe trips with my father in the 1980's. One thinks of D. in Paris, or perhaps Germany now, who knows, and wonders if any envelopes are prepping themselves for regret.

Train whistles a little after four a.m., peepers somewhere north which feels wrong somehow, and thin clouds moving quickly below the ten thousand stars I stopped naming when I was six. We ascended low hills without light and sat quietly on boulders beneath scraggly pines, smoking and sharing a six pack and not saying much, because in those days, who could? A dream of ladders, a dream of fences swirling slowly in a brown river flooding the low green banks.

Bluets one mile north - at the historical museum - while in my cold yard only dandelions and a handful of violets near the rhubarb. Things change, or seem to, and it's okay, or it will be - you have to tell yourself that. Sentence after sentence, no one of which defines me, no one of which persuades me that it's better to stay put.

We held hands near the harbor, and kissed on marble stairs while snow swept the air around us, and I remember almost all of that afternoon, and why, and why now? Cat sleeping in the laundry basket, eyes scrunched tight, mewing when we touch her. The kids come back inside with stories of a snake, frantic descriptions spilling into each other, and it makes me think of the quiet herpetologist I interviewed years ago, and how he talked for almost an hour about how important the right pencil is, and how nothing will sharpen it properly but the knife his Grandma gave him in the early fifties.

Thus, one settles and unsettles and settles again. The perennial welter opens and we navigate the interior deluge, bringing love back to love, and waiting a bit to see what happens next.

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