• Language

What is it to become memory?

She left this morning, and today I find myself in a field on a trail at the end of a trail running west, and the evening is approaching. Light glows on the horizon in tangerine and the softest of lemons, and the light on the earth gives way to shadows stretching long toward the east and the memory of morning.

This is the first sunset she has missed.

The light fades, but in the darkness there is a promise made solemn, the promise set firmly in action over millennia of light and dark, of light and dark, and the return of light. The promise of return does not include her, and tomorrow will be the first sunrise without her, but I will hold her up to the light, the thought of her, held up to the rising light.

Tomorrow the memory of her will greet the morning sun.

Men in Holes

 

We come from darkness. We come from the earth.
And it’s where we’ve been heading since the moment of birth.

Escape is in our nature. We struggle from the womb, riding the waves of contractions to our first taste of air. The sunlight helps us grow stronger and taller and farther away.

Men in Holes

charcoal and pastel

But our feet were built to stay on the earth, toes curling into the soil like roots. Sturdy legs to bare the weight of a lifetime, standing like stalks, building at the pace of cellular growth.

We look upward into the blue and we dream, and the light above, though beautiful, blinds us.

What we can’t see is that we have never left our holes.

Arms flail. Hands grasp. We stretch our bodies upward like contortionists toward a place high above where only the eye can go. Where only the mind can go. Where only the soul can go.

Hush little baby don’t say a word,
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.

Let her assure you, this woman who held you deep inside, that this hole need not be your grave. You are not the rot and decay that they will find there. You are above. Shot out like a flock of larks into the morning light.

These birds have the right idea—dream it, and it is so.