A Letter Home

As I look back on the first year of this strange voyage, I cannot help wondering if I have even pushed away from shore. This morning’s calm blue winter-spring sky belies the changes I find in my mirror. And yet I am still sitting in the same old chair, at the same old kitchen table, tapping on the same four rows of weathered keys. As always, I feel eager and ready to begin, but I am aware that my vessel is aging. Some changes are more obvious than others. I am shaggier and grayer and more careworn than I was a year ago. I also feel more defiant and proud, but perhaps this shows less in my face than in my words. Both are battered relics, but the words might be quicker to reflect changes beneath the surface, behind my eyes, in my lungs and heart and mind. Sometimes I am dissatisfied by the crippled way I use them. Other times I am pleased by the way the words are using me — when it feels as if they have found new life in my blood, and have been warmed by my breath, and for their sake I am willing to succumb. I am nearing something — another storm, bright emerald fields, forbidding mountains, arid sands. And then just as quickly it is gone — absorbed by daily cares, observed only by a glimpse through cold gray fog, the shapes of thought like monsters waking. Or it might be a song, the cadence of sunlight on ancient stone, an open door, a gentle spirit calling from the depths of fire, Come in, come in, be healed by my touch. I work with haste because I have so little time. From within the moment, I listen forever to each and every word, to the stars gazing down from the firmament, to the seeds awakening at my feet. All the while, Death watches, heartbroken and amused.

March 18, 2006

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