There was a part of me that was going to give this text up. There is a pile of journals on the floor twelve thick and I haven't re-read a page. They are thoughts digested and I have to chew these feelings now. Why not share the flavor; meditate on the texture, the grain, and try very hard not to swallow until I know if it will nourish me, sour my blood, weaken my bile. Or worse.
How do we come back...really? Crawl up and out of the forest floor trying not to wake the sweet gum tree beside us? Comb the desert and three years of wind and silica from our hair using a brush with two broken teeth (a brush that sheaths a hidden knife)? Pretend ignorance until we forget what we've learned? Do we sit in a dark room until our old distasteful habits call out our name in a voice that sounds like corn husks falling on flagstone and then let the old habits spoon beside us until they smell comforting again like a reason and a cause to regress; and worst of all, they again smell safely familiar? Do we disregard praying for everything and become thankful for nothing because... well. lets face it, we have so much? Early on I believed that I had enough time to figure it all out, to make a perfect peace in a littered skull; sweat out salt until there is no more salt to give my shirt. The few pictures I carried were enough then, a folded dead marriage, an old lover lost, and a grizzly claw stained with my grandmother's red paint, a 14k gold watch whose guts fell out within the first miles of the walk so I glued in a round quarter size mirror where the face was and then rarely looked in it again.
Maybe we will all sit down together when the music stops and there will be enough chairs, and I won't feel this 'ashes, ashes all fall down' feeling coursing through my veins. Time grows comfort.
Today I staked open maps with blood lines running through the heart of each state I walked through and thought that it should have taken longer to the point of cursing the miles I hurried through. In another pile newspaper stories, old but new to me, flattened one another with their weight. My eyes in all the pictures, at least they looked like my eyes, all have 'the look'; a cross between falling in love...and just falling without consideration over gravity's intent.
If the preparing to walk America was important it is even more important to write the last pages.... the long awaited kiss felt round and full. Will the man get the woman? Will the castaway 'get rescued' and leave the island without forever looking back? Now that our character has learned how to travel in time, can he be at peace living in the present?
This must be one of the short comings in living a dream designed by a child, for as a child I never designed in a return. The walk was my Radio Flier, a wagon that could take me away perpetually from sadness to bounty, from neglect(even when self induced)to embrace. The walk was the air in the lungs of Simon Birch; promising myself if I went under the surface of the pond over and over, longer and longer, extending my ability to hold my breath, I would never again have to surface and plead for air. Now I know that all along it was the walk itself that was my home. There was no destination. No longitude or latitude crossed bars setting a cage for me to fall into. When I walked I belonged.