in the dream i have an extra outer layer of skin on my hands, thin and peeling and
cracked in many places.
inside the cracks i see small pantry moths crawling and cocooning and growing and i am just freaked out enough to tear away at the skin to rip off the outer layer.
to make myself a new skin i take a new piece of special paper and cut out the shape of a hand
hiking to the beaver ponds we have to thrash our way through overgrown mountain laurel and high bush blueberry, winding around swampy muck and side stepping sloshy puddles. t says wouldn’t it be easier if mammoths were still alive?, instead of deer trails, we would all just follow mammoth trails.
at first we hear the owls, barred?, and then the coyotes, two, maybe four?, announcing themselves with yips and howls, and we can’t help but
stop our hurried walking (the light is fading, and are we going to make it down the mountain before we can’t see anymore?) to smile and listen to everything that happens in this place at the edge of day and night
an indoor picnic of pomegranate, salted almonds, pickled onions and rhubarb apricot jam on toast
arranged on a milk crate table on a solid oak floor. and not to mention the piece of dark chocolate and the four paper bags of different types of seaweed hand-harvested off the coast of maine. tasting the differences between sea lettuce and kelp and irish moss
while wet boots balance on the edge of desk above the
radiator waiting to dry.
exercising our minds at dusk
in the sand plains, right
below the power lines, listening to the chorus
i mean orchestra of crickets and katydids and field sparrows and there’s the whippoorwill and towhee and i don’t remember any other names but it actually makes the sounds easier to distinguish from each other because I’m not caught up in the names but instead in the octaves,
and i am paying attention to whether a call is metallic and staccato or soft and warbly. or
can you sing that note? t asks, and i try but it is too high for me.
at the end of the night, when it is totally dark
except for the almost half moon light, I hear a chirp that is loud and sharp and regular and different than the others, so I jab my finger in the air, in the direction where I think it is coming from.
no one else can hear the sound. i keep pointing my finger along to its rhythm and
still no one else hears the sound.
t acknowledges that high frequencies are hard for him, and the rest of them it seems,
and still no one else hears the sound,
c plays all sorts of different options on his smart phone, is it a Carolina ground cricket or a two spotted, striped, pine tree, field, but none of them sound the same as what I hear. ‘still, lets follow it,’ we say, so my young ears lead us to the grassy patch where the yet unnamed cricket is singing.
identifying the mid point in winter, like i would notch
its height in a tree trunk, marking this moment in time.
seeing the last month laid out in front of me in the form of 3 by 5 watercolor drawings, (the hobby that is as new as this year) that are resting on the floor next to the lamp
and the aloe plant
seeing my name tag, (the one from the meditation retreat) (the retreat that set the tone for everything that has followed)
in the thick juicy aloe leaves
wrapping myself in a blanket and slipping my feet in oversized boots, to walk outside at the turning point between night
and day, to see if i can spot the blue super moon in the early morning.
and seeing it across the road through the neighbor’s trees, looming above the horizon, i want to follow it somewhere i can grasp it more fully,
but i don’t, and i carry my longing back inside,
slipping off the boots, and climbing the stairs back to bed
conscious of my chewing (kale salad with pieces of mashed sweet potato) in the
silent kitchen just after
10pm – the dinner i found waiting for me on the counter
with a plate covering the top of the bowl and tongs
poised for the taking
as i slipped in through the door late, from this
and now im eating with my fingers out of the small blue bowl with shades of black and copper that i made (last November) and i’m on my fourth serving of kale salad because of how (small) the bowl is and how
(fluffy) the kale is.
as i am chewing
the light on upstairs of e grading papers and the pink glow from ro’s room (late night newsletter writing) and the empty space of knowing that f is still out on her first 24 hour shift (at the new hospital) all combined
(not to mention the weather forecast of frost) translates
to a feeling of a certain weight
weight of arriving
to a quiet house,
of identifying everyone in a place, their place,
of feeling a part and apart (at the same time)
washing the bowl out in the sink, rinsing my
turning off the light over the stove