She closed her eyes, found herself in her grandmother’s garden, between the towering tiger lilies, orange and black, and the peeling green slats of the back fence, the pale blue sky, the telephone wires sharp against the branches and wisped clouds, distant clicks and hushes coming from somewhere she would never find, and let herself slip deeper into that, so tiny and large, holding the dirt against her body, dribbling it awkwardly, scared of what she was doing, thinking about who she was and how she was there. She liked that, to suddenly think like that, like she wasn’t something else, and then thinking that she should laugh and almost drowning in that.
I dream of looking outside the image.
Escaping from the frame.
Considering what could be.
Getting my head on different.
For one day, just one day, shut off your television, power down your phone and go outside. Say hello to your neighbor. Volunteer, Engage with your community. Do not sit on the sidelines. Be the inspiration we so desperately crave.
And then tomorrow, by dawn’s early light, put one foot in front of the other, and do it again. Be the unity that this world needs.
“Back to the grind.” The girl’s shoulders were thin and rounded, almost elegant.
“I have to show you this.” She clicked open her phone. “When I first started… What am I going to show you? I’ll show you when it comes up. I don’t know what’s the matter with my phone.”
“You hear about Diane? She was in such a rut, especially after that stint at Benningtons.”
She had the app working. “My sister and the rest of them…I ran into Jennifer when they were leaving the city. She showed me this.”
“Wow.” She glanced at it and then the bartender. “Two ginger martinis. That would be so great.”
Margaret Wylie “Capi” Blanchet captures the dual aspect of nature throughout The Curve of Time, chronicling her boat trips in the inner passage of Vancouver Island:
Dee lay in the dark, watching Apollo chase a vole, giant and puffed, at the edge of the bed, batting it hard and then biting, the cracking squish of the skull like broken glass. She watched him sitting straight up in the corner, chewing his vole, breathing out the bottom part of his jaw. She tried to get off the bed and couldn’t and fought against the muffled paralysis. She was going backward. She couldn’t see properly. The lights were off. There was something turned the wrong way. She hated being stuck, unable to move, to even see, and grunted and spat and pulled herself out of the dream. “Jesus fuck.”
She moved her arm up and twisted onto her back, raising her other arm, both of them now straight above her. She wanted her kid-self back, exposed, naked against the rocks, in the long cold light, and so stripped and edged to the shore, putting her hand in as she planned her brief plunge off the slippery green ledge, reaching out with her foot to shove the smaller ice out and dive in. And so that was what she did, into the cold and dark, panicked and frozen, and stood there dripping, like the icebergs, ready to drop off shards, almost happy with herself for a moment. She was awake now. She was almost sure of that.
Thinking is bad. Or more specifically trying to put your head in order, that is bad.There’s experience and caring and many, many other things. And then there’s death, being no longer. There is stone. Or nothing. Someone else might write that story. But probably not. There are no notes to be reviewed. No follow-up meeting. You’re done. Dead. The world is only how you knew it, how you had it, your memories. But when that is done, whatever you did, good or bad, that is gone too.