Friday, January 14, 2022

Kin to Certain Stories

Light rain upon waking, the windows blurred by gray light. Dad's favorite prophet was Micah - I think often of the sermons he wrote, working out the terms and conditions of Yahweh's call to justice. She offers to pray with me, saying "but also - as I understand prayer - is not so much of what we do prayer to begin with?" Gifts of carnations, elephants carved from reconstructed stone. Early attempts to possess a Herkimer diamond go sideways, but it's a familiar road - kin to certain stories of Zen monks - and perseverance matters. Pheasants flying away in the twilight, my Dad saying after "you didn't even raise your gun" and only forty years later does it occur to me that he didn't either. We got drunker at Thanksgiving than Christmas, New Year's was often violent. Burning tires, the smoke rising for days it seemed. In a story I'm fond of telling they say "that gun ain't going to shoot itself, son." Go deeply into the many gazes and find the One Gaze. Photographs from childhood, sorrows that return like kids lost in a forest finding their way home. Why yes I did hold her hair back as she leaned. Warnings abound which go mostly ignored, as who has time around here to slow down? Painted rocks. William's pet turtle. I rise and dress slowly, go downstairs and make coffee. Not a puzzle, not a mystery. She follows, puts a hand on my shoulder, leads me into familiar intimacies. I was a pine forest once, and once I was an owl. This hunger - who taught it my name?

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