Tuesday, January 6, 2009

i hit a clearing

i know a place where the wind is as strong as the stillness, where the sun is fierce as if always threatened that the night sky will outshine him, and the roots don't run deep, they just cling to rocks. time ticks slowly and everything is old. plants grow defensively, holding fast to their rations, daring nocturnal creatures to risk their skin for a sip. where footprints disappear along with laws the further out you go, and a soul is laid bare like the bleached bones of cattle left to sink slowly in the shifting sand.
whatever jungle or city or mountain or forest i race to explore, though beautiful and absorbing, never calls me back like home. the desert, that howling dog, always haunts me.
my father and i had a conversation not long ago wherein we conjured a relationship between ourselves and plants, asking which plant best represented us. i came up with a scrub pine for him, because he stubbornly grows year after year in harsh conditions simply because he wants to and he likes the place he's planted. (my mother calls him the mighty oak, but she's in love with him you know). for me, he said, the tumbleweed, riding winds to new locales just because i can, never knowing where i'm going. at the time, that seemed obviously appropriate, and now even more so in a broader sense because the tumbleweed can go anywhere, yes, but where does it belong? and where does it grow and reproduce?
i was told this hawaii trip was a vision quest, a mountain to climb from where i could see my path with perspective. i'm only a little way up the mountain, but already i can see things invisible just weeks ago. i will continue to climb knowing my home is not at the top of the mountain, but can only be realized in the journey.

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