Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The Last Workable Prayer

Woke up knowing my fate, no use pretending otherwise. How cold the floorboards are in early winter, shrugging naked into yesterday's jeans. Lost in a bedroom itself endlessly shifting in space, the world is basically unfindable. What ends, what begins. Or rather, what ends and does not begin.

This again.

Sky was the first text. I think of this often in winter, when Polaris is as bright as childhood, and long walks a return to whatever inside me once longed to find a way back to Her. The upward gaze is the gaze that extends us, or did you think that Heaven was just an idea?

One disregards most of history, ends up with a new name and backstory, but don't kid yourself, nothing changes. When is it not the third of May 1808? There is only one river and it makes no provision for time or space.

Pausing on the stairs to listen to traffic on Route Nine, eighteen-wheelers leaning on the jake brake. You can't pretend it's four a.m. when it's four a.m..

What do you think the early travelers noticed most? Or is the question why did they travel at all. How long do you have to look at something in order to decide it's not worth pursuing? "Don't think about it" they said about the first dead dog and fifty years later I still can't think about anything else. Sextant, schmextant. But not map, schmap.

Blustery winds come down the river, maple leaves tremble in concert at dawn. Feeding the horses in darkness is the last workable prayer. We are in the garden late into November, spading compost, harvesting kale, we are devoted to nothing if not continuity. Imagine telling God your dreams, and God telling you none will come true, and yet still dreaming.

Imagine choice really is an illusion.

I am alone in morning darkness making coffee by feel, trying out sentences, discarding the ones that contradict the conclusion I insist on coming back to. The argument is over, the conflict settled, and here I am, secretly resenting the plowshare we crafted. Those storm clouds, they never stop to tell me where they're going, they just go. 

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