Thursday, February 23, 2023

Turtles Dreaming

Naguib Mahfouz writes "Home is not where you were born. Home is where all your attempts to escape cease." I forget this.


Chrisoula and I drive to Worthington. The point is to talk about X outside the house, away from others, but we never talk about X when we're alone. X is not the problem, X is what hides the problem. We walk from the center of town to the fire pond in the woods where growing up I smashed beaver traps and decades later sat for hours on the grassy bank with Jake watching butterflies and turtles, dreaming I was Christ, playing with words, hiding from the world. 

We talk about healing, how supporting others in their healing can easily become a way of avoiding our own. It's an old story; this is old ground.

A golden eagle glides north over the soft ice, the green pines.

I don't want the past anymore. And Chrisoula never did.

I love this life, I don't care who knows it. I don't want to die. I'm tired of pretending I know anything about non-being. I miss my dogs. 

I miss my woman. 

Walking back my throat hurts. Why did so much in this life have to be so hard. Chrisoula is scared I'm not okay, might backslide into self-harm, I'm scared she can't actually forgive me. I tell her in Spring we will come back and see bears. What I really mean is, tell me there will be a Spring.

She doesn't answer but it's okay. I asked for one more winter, was given one, this one. Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists. Our shoulders graze leaving the forest. Once upon a time she lit up the interior brighter than Dōgen, brighter than Tara Singh. Now the lamp is shared and its little glow reaches barely past our fingers. 


Driving home the long way, something else Mahfouz said, I don't remember exactly, but it had to do with the heart and its secrets. I don't remember the context; I don't know if it fits here. It feels like it does. But I don't know.

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