Monday, December 21, 2020

A Grandmother Gazing Back at Me

What is the morning as it crawls from the shadows? The trap door in my brain behind which bad dreams hide springs open but for once nothing spills out. We are here to serve, and serve in order to remember we are not here at all.

Jasper emails to remind me I promised to help him carry the new door upstairs. Storm warnings. You can sneeze during zazen but we would rather you didn't, just as you can vomit after eating peyote but we would rather you didn't. Gaps in the circle which we fill, and gaps which can never be filled, ever.

Waving to every car that passes without looking up from my feet falling one after the other on the gray pavement of Fairgrounds Road. Steep slopes, their grassy embankments littered with Bud Lite cans. The cats nestle closer at night. The neighbors' Christmas lights are garish but delightful and I am not ashamed.

We are what we miss most. She accuses me of trafficking in spiritual platitudes, a fair assessment under the circumstances but still, prophets gotta prophecize. Let us be book sellers, let us be silent, let us "marry our fortunes together." Churches in which I shall never pray again.

Little fir trees in the meadow. For a long time when I looked at the sky I saw a grandmother gazing back at me, her kind eyes the color of blue marbles. How the trout fought not to die, and how clever the deer were, waiting us out in the bracken.

Knives my father gave me which - unlike the guns - I am as yet unwilling to give away. More of the stillness, more of the dim light growing dimmer.

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