Thursday, January 30, 2020

A Posture of Compliance and Submission

It snows at the beginning but by late morning I am closer to tidal flats, wind ruffling egrets stradding shallows laced with sunlight. It is family all the way down.

When lost, we orient according to corporate landmarks - McDonald's, Starbucks, Ocean State Job Lots. She puts on lipstick, talking about how sad it is to visit friends in nursing homes, and I wonder what my life would have been like had seagulls appeared less exotic.

He was discharged from the army in 1957, a fact I learn only because certain medications make him talky. Turtles surface, stoic reminders that inquiry (and the complex social fabric sustaining it) is not forbidden.

These days when I catch myself praying I stop and try instead to notice what is going on that intimates a posture of compliance and submission is viable. The dog was scared of the sheep (who were mostly curious about the dog) and so we structured our walks accordingly.

Yet later, storm clouds began to bunch up on the horizon, swollen and gray, like furious angels utterly convinced of their cause. Lunch is not quiet at all, not at all.

Over photographs with heavy frames one begins to piece together their own sense of the family story, which hinges on understanding how all stories are merely constructions. Lost in the carpeting, loose purple pills barely larger than rice grains.

Sometimes you think there's a lot to say and there actually isn't but the laws do not demand you be quiet. In the bathroom I realize how unmotivated I generally am and wish he were here so that we could commiserate.

What does it mean to be related? Sometimes I feel small, want to hide, don't know the rules that underlie our shared equality, et cetera.

By afternoon the coffee is cold and budget restraints prohibit replacing it, so it's cold coffee all the way west up the turnpike. Or is it just that as we grow older we are less tempted to insist on the primacy of this particular experience (against, or over, that other experience)?

A quiet stillness passing familiar hills, snow falling in wan moonlight, yet the road ahead clear. Ten thousand gods my dear and you chose this one.

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