Litany

  • Date: 22 feb. 2017, yet unseasonable warm.  Spring like, but hotter still.
  • Time– uncertain.  The stamp says one when last I spoke; the walk began a minute after.
    • I do not recall having slept, know it only by waking up.
  • Ground examined, people ignored.
  • I saw my first bluebells of the season.
  • Tiny birds the size of mice, which at first I thought they were.
  • Spectrum of expulsions shifting from brown to clear.
  • A foolish dove sat where from hawks watch.
    • Her call was calm, though I told her the danger.
  • Sidewalks: brick, stone, concrete, steel grate, earth, macadam, repetition
  • Bridge crossed west
  • Fever of 103*
  • Four pieces of trash moved from ground to cans adjacent.
  • A pretty girl I didn’t know said hello;
    • I nodded to her dog.
  • City Island, one lap
    • And then some “here and there” to catch a rarity.
  • A mystery tree
    • Identified- willow.
  • Bridge, crossed east
  • Gym buffed, spot stolen, fuck the inconsiderate.
  • Walk along, I can see my house, and there it goes, goodbye house.
  • Bulbs.
    • After the first, they appeared everywhere I looked.
  • Another gym buffed, got one in.
  • A pretty girl I didn’t know said hello–
    • I nodded to her dog.
  • Another gym, spot left open.
    • Karmic balance?
  • Mind goes blank until that sound annoys me.
    • My breathing; alien, disconcertingly mechanical
  • Another gym, another in.
  • Another, another.
  • Two rarities found on second street.
  • The walk along, removed from the river, is less familiar, seems much shorter.
  • But there are fewer stops.  To the river returned.
  • Five feet shy of bottom stair, the 10k egg goes off.
  • Twelve and some kilometers walked.
  • Second stair seems a seat.
  • One hundred or so pokemon caught.
  • Four and three quarters hours away from home and the sickroom dungeon.
  • Two hundred-ninety-seven words written.

 

 

*Check it and see.

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An Unnamed Feeling

For two hours a subtle thought played repetitiously in my head, distracting me from the road.  It began as a sensation, remained as something like that, a proto-thought, the sense of something more that one has trouble describing to others but knows, in a self-contained, meaningless way, to be truly important.

I’d given the thought a form, came up with something clever as I drove the car in, around, and through an abnormally thick set of traffic along Rt 15, but the pithy thing fell away and I cannot recall it.

The sense has remained.

A strange sort of killer calm persists, has persisted through the day, back through the sunlight before it fled, through the meeting with my employer, over the hundred miles between here and D.C., back to last night, back before my departure, a night before my return, to some point between Wick’s start and the ‘monitor ready’ image displayed in white across the theater’s then empty screen.

I have no greater point as I have no explanation.  Life doesn’t work that way.  There’s rarely a narrative arc.

Twelve years ago I was certain I’d never go to college.  Instead I became a metal smith.  Five years ago I was so focused on jealousy and feelings of inadequacy at the contrast between me and friends my age that I could think only of finishing my undergrad somehow.  It nearly didn’t matter where.  Two years ago I was graduated and certain of going to grad school, again, somewhere, somehow, and becoming a novelist, a short story writer.  In between then and now I’ve vacillated on what I’d study, on how I’d manage it with four cats, a girlfriend already in school, and a family house to mind.

Now I’ve the satisfaction of an unlikely job with which to contend, and my plans seem like they’ll change again.

Maybe that calm is some new tact, a new tract of my mind’s trying to deal with big decisions by going to ground, digging trenches across my neocortex, and carving fox holes toward my foramen magnum  until all I can see faces inward.

I promise, despite the tone of my prose, I am happy.

In my way.

A Central Peace

I’ve finally gotten for what I’ve come.

Today is the fifth day of my six day stay in North Carolina.  I come to visit my mother, as there’s little else to lure me here.  I forget, when four hundred miles and twenty degrees Fahrenheit above, the pleasures come from this place.  The flora and fauna that give every  bit as much a sense of exploration as I could get from video games based around the process.  I forget the Crepe Myrtles and the inland sea.  I forget the peace that comes of making no decisions, of abandoning the need for control and the worry that comes with it.  I sleep and rest and listen tot he ground.  More often, I listen to the coastal winds that lose their ferocity, diluted and spread wide to make a gentle breeze that seems to cover the visible world.

Still, I was restless.  I’d begun to catch up on my sleep until last night, after hours of work online, both at home and at the single coffee shop here.  After walking around the tiny town a half a dozen times, having eaten, and worked: written and read, and exercised and come up with nothing else for me to do, I still could not shake the old sense of something else left looming.

I woke up earlier today than any one prior.  The cats rolled and played and knocked each other up and over the bed, but that wasn’t what woke me- I was already awake.

I bathed and ate, fed the cats and made the bed.  I checked for work, but none yet has come.  I went to town and took another walk, but the sudden heat and growing familiarity removed the meditative sense I’d had before; I knew the streets, I knew where I was going.  The walk felt like a chore.

I came home, sweaty from a January walk, and found my mother still at work.  I changed in my room and watched the clouds roil over the the open field beyond the development and dead worm streets.  I opened the windows and could smell the sea and the impending storm, but mostly I could hear the wind, louder than before, numbingly peaceful in its persistence.

I opened the windows and the cats, all four, sprang tot he screen.  We five watched and my mind began to settle.  I sat on the bed and felt the wind, the real wind, the natural kind made of thermal shifts and changes in atmospheric density, and my eyes began to close, yet still I felt the need to move, the sense that something else was left to do.

The wind increased and the world grew more muted.  Then the washing machine stopped.  It may seem a stupid thing to notice, but my mother’s machine sings when it’s finished its cycle.  It is always a sad sound, the tones are digital and flat, and they make me think of loneliness, remind me of the song the Mars rover sings to itself once a year, alone on its planet.

The song was what I’d needed.  The wind had cut me off from the rest of the world, but that song had made the solitude.

Finally alone in my head, the restlessness passed.  I’ve found the central restfulness, the core of it, and outward a gentle acceptance is growing.  It won’t last, tomorrow I drive for seven hours to return me home.  Immediately thereafter I return to work on word and wood.  But today, today I am at peace.