Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Stumps of Silence

The Atlantic Ocean


Some days you walk through the halls of sunshine. The glow is remarkable. Sustaining. You forget the loneliness. Kick the rubble of despair. Follow the road of those whose intrepidation you admire. The tales woven, scattered across the skies, across the tundra, into the valley of distant possibilities. The echo of your mistakes grow dim. New possibilities arise from the ends of the earth. You bless the spirit that leads you to the wondrous inevitability of civilization. Tension dissolves into a pool of cool water. Flowing reflections of here and there. Your infinite separation becomes less vast. The interruptions don’t seem so daunting.


You are a traveler. Moving is the only solution. You must settle now, though.  A place to start from. Held in captivity by a pandemic. So you read and read and read. The great adventurers. The Scot Dalrymple and his exquisite pursuits. The nomads Thesiger and Burton. Desert loving British. Each story a fine piece of narrative to wet the spirit. To sleep, perchance to dream. From the bowls of unsavory condition, the siren song gives delight. So distant. So precious. You had your moments. There will be more.


Storks flew over Tiberius as the hills of Jerusalem were lit one by one while daylight faded. A recently unearthed Roman mosaic floor greeted you upon leaving. The wild days on Ios. Volcanic beaches at Santorini. Wonders upon wonders. That cold, rainy winter at San Souci. Currywurst when returning. Eine mark, bitte. The rooster in Cairo after you found all were staying below a bordello. Awake, awake. Don’t forget tiny Kleenex packs. The first time you saw a snowy clearing of deer, herded and huddled. Fresh from urban dirt, you were. Free, you thought. The gaiety of New Orleans, the spectacle of endless bayous. A riot of color, flora and fauna. Pirogues, air boats, a helicopter over lost barrier reefs. The horror, the horror of breaking news. Incest, child abuse, unspeakable acts. Fierce Minneapolis winters. Searing hot Indians months. Exotic and unyielding. These paths you traveled unescorted. The boldness often unraveled. You kept on and on and on.


What can you say about a disjointed life full of marvels and dead ends? You went after every dream. No one wanted to come. You went anyway. Often penniless. Living by wits, the will to move on. You do not wear this on any shelf, any recommendation or congratulatory article. In the deep, in the recesses you must remember all that you did even though it landed you here among the mistakes, the uncontrolled environment, not quite the end of the line. Jug, jug to dirty ears. Entrails of emptiness. So many not knowing what to do. You thread such things into art forms, books, words, paintings. The poverty never stopped you. Discouragement did not matter. Along the wide berth of opinion you strive while others pine for nothing much. Twit, twit, twit.

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