Saturday, December 18, 2021

Filling the Heavens with Dreams

That's too much light for one face, I think, putting away the photograph for the ten thousandth time and turning back to my reading (Firestone's The Self Under Seige). The old trestle table rocking in the hay loft while I pick up and put down my coffee, a good brother, an old friend. Chrisoula folds laundry in the pantry and I lean in the doorway to watch, neither of us speaking but looking up as she folds the ________________,, smiling at each other. So war is coming, so what, we've survived worse, is one way to see it. At night like a few other men in our tribe of confused peace-makers I go outside and star gaze, dizzy and stumbling, filling the heavens with dreams of the end of conflict. People say the stones on my desk are pretty, and I explain how moving them a little calms me. One's life shrinks and then suddenly expands, waves rolling over the sand, darkening it to the color of a certain kind of shadow. I understand that the first image is the self, and all else a recursion, a complex idea until you see at last there is no first image (and thus no death). You had to be smart and you had to protect yourself, stop pretending kids have choices. Remember yesterday that cardinal swooping across the road to alight in snowy bracken? My brother, my killer, my savior? I tell you - She tells me - we do not have to live this way.

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