It was snowing outside and I was dead. Only R. could see me. She wasn’t sad; when people thought she was alone, we were together as we’d always been. Other adults came over to the house, talked, laughed, put up Christmas decorations, looked through me. I realized that R. would now be subject to their decisions, and that as time went on I’d be ever less able to help her.
I got sleepy on lunch break and sat in the sun. Everything was quiet and all the cups and bowls around me started to look like Velázquez cups and bowls.
The bus stop at night is nicer than the BART station at night: side-street bus stop, nothing much happening. Crickets, bright traffic signals. The last dusk faded plum. The trees spread in their realm. Because the street is closer the sky seems closer likewise, and parts of the world slip right past, uncordoned. The last patrons leaving the library. People stopping to clean their windshields at the ancient Chevron.
The Silt Sermon
I’m 40, and glad about it! Went to Redwood Regional Park above Oakland. The outer rim trail is broad, bright, hot, lousy with professional (?) dog walkers doing their best to trot along at the hub of an asterisk of leashes. If you take the broken path downward you end up at a narrow, deep-cut streambed, dry in this parched season of my birth except for a few silty pools. I look for fish sleeping out the summer but can’t find any. Ferns, madrones, chickadees at work in the pines.
It’s cool down here, but enough sunlight cuts through to remind you of the heat above. When you try to take a picture it comes out seared white.
Now and then a bike goes past, or people walking in pairs. The older ones don’t have anything to say. The younger ones all seem to have grievances.
(—and I was really pissed, that she’d reach out to a donor in that way, someone who’s invested so much...)
(—maybe parents think that’s an intuitive way to put it, but it’s not intuitive at all, it’s not like, I don’t want to see you...)
I’ve felt that too, the sense that the forest must have a use, and that use must be to get square with whatever is outside the forest. I don’t have to do it now. I’m 40.
After the people go by, the birds restate their themes. Jays of course, and ravens, smaller calls I’m not sure about. Droning bugs, airplanes way up. The underlying rope weave, meant to hold the soil in place, is exposed and fraying.
Coming out of the canyon I pull out my phone, find some welcome email and the news that my birthday gift from Jerry Brown is his signature on SB 100.
Paradise is conceivable, but only tangible at—well—a tangent point. No one abides there.