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We drove into the sun
Let's say there is a place and you feel at home. Let's say you have a thing or two to learn before you get there. Let's say I wrote a poem. What then?
There is no place on earth that will make us whole.
There is no ecology beyond us that will save us.
You cannot parachute into a place you call paradise, expecting paradise to create a you-shaped canopy of stars to catch you and hold you and say to you Finally, you’re here. Now we can begin.
The world exists everywhere without you, even now, exactly as it is.
But let’s say there is a place. In this place only what can live will live. It’s more than you imagine. The sky sometimes sets the earth on fire. The earth sometimes sets the earth on fire. People have lived in this place for tens of thousands of years. Let’s say the people who have lived here for tens of thousands of years had children. And the children had children, who had children too, and their children—even them!—gave birth to children, whose children had children, who eventually, if you can believe it, one day, gave birth to you.
Let’s say there is a place and you feel at home.
You do not need this place to make you whole. You already are, as you’ve always been. Even when you didn’t know it. Maybe that’s what takes to feel at home anywhere—knowing you’re whole, wherever you are.
I am surrounded by sun on every side now. I miss nothing and everyone, which is how it’s always been. Can’t say that’s new. What is: what’s isn’t? I’m flying without a net right now. It’s been weeks since I’ve had any kind of daily practice. No routine to speak of, really. No rhythm, except for this: to go where I need to, and eat when I’m hungry, and do every day what needs to be done, which is, incidentally, a lot. They tell you that, about selling your home to move across the country. They tell you, “It’s a lot.” I didn’t think they were lying to me, but there’s so much I know now that I didn’t know four weeks ago.
Here is what I’ve maybe learned. Could be too soon to tell.
I need less than I think. Less than that.
I have too many socks.
No one needs this many socks.
If the car engine begins to overheat, blast the heater. It will draw warm air away from the engine.
If you haul everything you own—which is much less than it used to be, but arguably still too much—behind your car in a 6x12 trailer, your car may begin to overheat going over the Raton Pass.
If there is a god, god lives in the mountains.
You will be grateful for those extra napkins.
You will be grateful for the first aid kit.
I am capable of patience. And terror too.
If—in the midst of a life-altering transition of both spiritual and geographic dimensions, uprooted from one home, bound for another—you leave your wedding ring at a roadside motel and realize it eight hours and 450 miles later, and for the first time in your life feel with certainty that something, some thing, is actually, factually precious to you, that terror—that fear that you’ve lost some precious thing forever—may hold within it a calm resolve you didn’t know you had in you, some might even call it faith, and you may for the first time in your life know yourself capable, in fact, of tremendous faith—in yourself, in strangers, in whatever happens now—and isn’t that something? You. A person of faith.
If you have a smart phone, your father’s will, and your mother’s way with strangers, and also a friend who you married to hold your hand and help you focus and remind you, whatever fool bullshit you’ve gone and done this time, you can and will sort it out, whatever it may be, you could probably arrange to have your ring back within 48 business hours. You’ll also need like $150.
The Day’s Inn in Walcott, Iowa may not be the lap of luxury but the water’s hot and dogs are welcome and the young man working the evening shift is a goddamn angel.
You can live with uncertainty.
You can live without your rituals. But not forever.
Three days can last three thousand years.
We are all we have.
It is plenty.
Okay. Here’s a little poem, just a little guy.
I made it for you (me) ((us)).
it's easier than
it looks. we drove
into the sun
if there isn't a god
you couldn't tell.
it’s easier than it looks.