together sitting

starting a new thing tomorrow i say to the jade plant on the table next to me and the bouquet of wildflowers in the mason jar and the leftover pound cake on a plastic tray that someone must have brought to the party on Friday and no one had finished eating since then

how it wouldn’t be a big deal, starting a new thing but also how
many new things have i started. 3 different jobs. just in one year? 4 different homes. how many times
will i pack up everything? not to mention the other countries, and my big (and heavy) red backpack, and all of the buses. last fall. then the (stillness and agitation of) winter. and then come spring i must have memorized at least a hundred
new names of kids that came through every week to learn with me in the woods of the berkshires

 

i call mw as i’m walking to find some woods around five o clock, and i leave a voicemail message for her that wanders and when i hang up i start singing one of her songs- not hers, but the ones that she taught me, the ones that we sang
together sitting on her couch in her
house in the prairie, a little less than a year ago when i rested my
travel weary body in her living room for 10 days to watch the colors change and the lake water turn cold.

perfectly still

Lying perfectly still on the carpet in my room, at about three o clock in the afternoon on saturday, moving in and out of dreaming and acute awareness of the blood pumping through my body, thinking for a moment about the vietnamese walking stick bug, which is in order of insects called
Phasmatodea.

phasma is from the latin for ghost, referring to their excellent camouflage, which includes their ability to be perfectly still for hours and hours.

several of these walking stick bugs live in a glass enclosure at the education center where I work, and i stop by the welcome desk to watch their usually unmoving bodies
clinging to cut branches of multiflora rose.

the lifespan of a vietnamese walking stick bug is about five to seven months. they do not need mates to reproduce. there are only females in the glass enclosure, and they have been successfully breeding (parthenogenetically) for about
eight years.

identifying where it came from

identifying the pain in my right leg as
a bruised adductor muscle, (or strained or pulled) but not identifying where it came from, (the pain) only aware of the aching that this morning
extends all the way to my ankle.

walking,(limping) with s to the store and when we’re about half-way there is an explosion of thunder and the rain plummets down. is this okay? she asks and we both just smile, shrug our shoulders, and keep walking, occasionally singing my favorite new song that i learned over the weekend.

after most of the storm has passed, we are on our way home splashing through puddles in sandals for the first time this season, feeling the warm puddle water on our feet and the cool rain still dropping on our heads.