The lights fade as the cities turn to endless forests and the skies become saturated with clouds. The wind is slowly bringing in a storm that will hide the stars. We are under and within the forest–an endless maze around us. We wander north and begin to see the trees part and give way to leftover snow drifts, sand and stone, icebergs along the lake, and an old lighthouse that no longer guides lost ships. We are insignificant as the cold saps our energy and the road disappears under flooded rivers.
It is summer here, but if you follow polaris long enough you’ll find yourself in winter again. My advice: bring a friend who can keep you warm.
I walk outside into a perfect day. The sun is shining, the skies are a perfect blue, and the grass is a living green speckled with the yellow of weeds. After all my writings of the sadness of the rain and the encompassing bleakness of the clouds, this should be welcome. He comes up the stairs and points over the fence. The city is cleaning out the abandoned buildings out back and they are cleaning the area around as well. I had seen the green truck with blades so sharp pass earlier and stop to the right of the back fence, but did not think anything about it. Now, I follow the path of his finger and they are cutting down trees. I see my oxygen source diminish just a little more. They place them through the green truck and the trees become nothing more than wood chips and mulch. I see children playing on them in the future, the trees no longer give oxygen to them: their life has been extinguished. They’re just broken pieces on the ground.
I suppose I can understand how tree-huggers and environmentalists are grown. It is so sad to live in a city deprived of fresh air and then see the source of that fresh air being taken away, bit by bit. I wonder if we’ll be able to fix things before it is too late?
I think this, but today the sun is shining. Today I have things I have to accomplish, and though I contemplate these things I am not in a position to do anything about it. And so complacency spreads.
Beneath the moments in time
The sand in the atmosphere
The endless sky above
The ground is still under me
I can still feel the sand between my toes
But the words stopped flowing
Between the sharing and the wishing
I let go
You never once held on
The thought was there
But you can only hold onto one
The naïveté of my heart will never cease
I forgot the things that shaped me
Today the weather is my love. What I wake up to and what I hold and what holds me. I go outside and look into the sky searching for the answer to a riddle in my head. Does Mars still shine? But the sharp raindrops hit my eyes and shift my gaze to the ground. I find ants and pills and dirt and broken grass and closed dandelions. This is not the sky I intended to view.
I start walking. I leave my umbrella behind and let the water dance down my skin. It moves with a freedom my being cannot express. I look to my left and see a seemingly endless sandstorm across an expansive desert. To my right there is a forest of silver-blue crystal trees. In my mind, there is a rainstorm between two planets.
I left one before I could remember, but I still have dreams of the stinging sand and shifting buildings. It was my home at one point and something still calls me there. I moved to a metropolis which does not appear in my dreams. I left it all behind for convenience and crowded cities. The sand and the forests and even the rain will remain only a memory; though some day I may find myself there again and I’ll begin to wonder why I ever left.
A step turns into two and two into a walk. A walk becomes a mile and a mile leads to a new block, a new sight, a new way. Beyond that first mile are many more.
Do you see the path? I know I don’t. Sometimes I see one step in front of me, but the majority of the time the best I can do is feel out the most solid ground with the soles of my feet. And my soul leads me on. Through the dark, across the way, over a hill – or perhaps it was a mountain – I find myself moving to new places I never expected. I look behind me and clearly see every piece from my past – all the dreams, the ups, the downs, the ends, the beginnings, the possibilities.
I have no idea how I made my way through this life thus far. I am constantly scrambling about, but I still always manage to find solid ground. My footing has slipped so many times, but somehow I slide to a ledge and find a ladder back to my path instead of falling off the edge.
What a magnificent trek this has been and my curiosity for where it will lead will lead to some jumps in the dark that I may or may not be prepared to make, but when are we ever ready for anything life unveils?
We search for calipers and rotors on a summer-like day in spring. We didn’t bring enough water. We pull off tires and break bolts and find almost new brake pads. They will all fit my car. I look up and down the rows and piles of cars and remains and broken tools and wonder how many there are here. I have never seen so many broken cars.
While his testosterone works to loosen the bolts I claim as unmovable, I look to the car to my right and see this open engine:
It is something magnificent to me and brings my memory back to high school days in shop classes when the only writing I did concerned the engineering I dreamed of. This engine was previously sealed away from all of the contaminants of this world. It is as though I walked into a room where there was only a sleeping patient with a visible heart. The surgeons and nurses had all left, but here was this patient, heart out in the open, just waiting for someone to fix the pieces and close them back up. Sutures in place, they would work again. Their heart would start pumping the blood again and the normality of everyday life would return.
I saw the same thing here. But instead of the mechanics returning and fixing the pieces and closing the heart back up so it could keep igniting and pumping oil while the loving family members anxiously await the result outside, it is left here to rot. And once everything useful is stripped from this car, it will be crushed and recycled away.
Every car here has that same story. They have all traveled places and taken their owners wherever they asked until some problem arose that caused them to be thrown out with the rest of the garbage. They were all left here, whether or not their heart really was broken, and I feel as though I have become nothing more than a grave robber. Though it is true that these cars no longer need their spare parts: I took them away and now they will become part of my own car. Transplants are much more economical and environmentally friendly than buying new pieces.
We leave each other to our own devices and sleep by ourselves. In the morning, we meet for breakfast and spend the day discussing everything. We talk about baffling baffles and nuts and bolts and broken mufflers. The outside air is cold and you discover incorrect measurements and more broken pieces.
And we smile. The pieces around us may stay broken, but we smile and laugh and you lift me up and spin me around.
Did you hear as the snow fell and our hearts began holding each other’s? Did you see as this became more than counting plastic stars and missing each other under and away from them? You wrote a song about the stars and the moonlight and I write stories about the insignificance of my light: how it is to her as the moon is to the sun. You don’t seek out sunlight anymore. You pour yourself another mug of moonlight and I quote your lyrics.
And when I returned home ahead of schedule and saw your smile and heard your talent unfold, I relaxed a little bit more. You tell me to not be thankful for you. You are restless and I can see all the possible ends. But I can also see this not ending. You noticed me falling and told me to stop, but you still remain there ready to catch me.