• Language

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.

Birds in Boxes

Birds in Boxes.

Charcoal.

Like birds in boxes, we are all dreaming of flight. I completely understand your reluctance, my friend. The earth is solid, safe. Our flesh is the very stuff of soil. The earth’s gentle curve helps us to keep our perspective. Still, there will be a universe of days for us to rest within its dark, maternal loam. Until then—why not fly?

Entering the Forest

I walk into the woods, deep and far. I walk until I feel that if I take one more step, just one final step, I will be lost forever. I have paused between trees—twin pines standing like giants in the dying sun. I fill my lungs with air until my heartbeat pounds for mercy. And then with a screaming release of breath, I exhale concrete buildings. I exhale automatic transmissions. I exhale iron gates and traffic lights. Suddenly there is nothing but forest, and I take one more step.

watercolor sketch of forest

Watercolor sketch on artist trading card