Raising The Dead (Edit, take two...or three)
The '48 Airstream is now my home, while everything that does not make the cut into this reconstituted life; boxes that have patiently awaited my return, and an odd assortment of treasures carried over from my life before the walk receive price tags, and sit on Saturday morning tag sale blankets in hopes of adoption. Even the rifle I loved weighs too much with burden of bullets. What was a sweet taste in my mouth has become sour. Walking I was less alone simply because I had not arrived.
Everything now has the rose and thorns of old memories, associations that usher me back to what was before, little lives that went jaundice and died before I could live this one. Ghosts of three winters past pull their sheets off and stomp their feet in hour after hour of deafening memories silence. I am really alone for the first time since the walk ended, and the initial curtain falls hard. For three days after I arrived back in the Berkshires I sat on my half moon bed without taking food or water, letting a thousand memories feed on me until they had their fill on what was my flesh, on what was the pink of heart and lungs. When I was reduced to bone, I stood up slowly, got dressed, opened all the windows, and then I looked for writing paper as tea water called from the stove.
I phone the paper to work up a story, but there are are new stories involving shootings, fires, or who will be the new president. There is always a new shine to tend to. It is time for me to write from journals and look at pictures to show you, while I wonder if I should sell everything that I own under this humid sponge of sky ...knowing that I can live on ferns and turtles, and the emergency reserve of a gold coin sewn into the tongue of my boot. A seductive autumn that is already nudging the valve off inside the stems of maple trees is weighing clothes I think to keep.
The good thing about all of this is it is all transitory. Nothing I touch is solid. There is peace in my perspective where there was once urgency. There is no place that I have to be. The only employment I hold is to my self. There will be colors to startle come late September. A creek that runs past my trailer runs cold even in August, and somehow, across a mottled quilt of country that I now know intimately, I got your letter today.