Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Beautiful Loneliness of Burlington, Vermont

Dumping coffee grounds in the compost. One is grateful for fires, and the gift of knowing how to make them. What is the horizon but our shared ecstasy at realizing at last there are no limits? 

Venus floats perfectly silent in darkness above the village church, inviting me to rethink my obsession with family demon dance parties. Christmas cactus on the shelf above the sink blooming in a modest way, unlike both my grandmothers. Whatever you insist upon will become the fulcrum on which your prayer for salvation balances.

Water boiling for tea, the kettle rattling a little as people enter the kitchen, the day at last a collective beginning. Reinvigorated rosary prayers. Descendents of the chickens I have killed to eat do not plot against me.

Once again waking up in an Irish dolmen. My body grew foreign and what was living declined to be contained by, limited by it, and I was frightened but also happy to have found at last the narrow path. Shall we kneel to peer through the keyhole?

Tiny pumpkins, mole-gnawed potatoes. Jeremiah makes savory oatmeal with sausage, only grunting when asked what spices he's using. Rain falls, turns to snow, and I remember again the beautiful loneliness of Burlington, Vermont.

Never hasten to "amen!" Driving west an hour or so after dawn, mistaking fallen leaves blowing across the highway for small animals in need of attention. Dried apples and blueberries and other signifiers of the end of hardship.

We shuffle on and eventually up, even off the windswept mountain. Those stars promising us we have been here before. 

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