RIVER, watercolor on paper, 10×14
I have entered a suspended state. After many years, I am ready to move.
I am between worlds, of my own volition.
For now, my loyalty is not to a place, but to the planet.
I am a temporary nomad, no longer resident but a citizen of the world.
* * *
I acknowledge the luxury of my plight. I do not have to flee in the night, and I expect to end up in a better place.
Whatever I feel now is the result of my desire. I am lured by the sweet nectar of possibility, the imperative of change.
To get from here to there, eventually I must lift both feet. Free floating for a second, a week, a month, or more. There’s no other way.
At times it feels is as if I have already left — but not like vacation: the scenery stays the same, and I have chores.
* * *
Bananas on cereal: the morning kibble. More than ever, I crave my routines.
A male rabbit holes up in a moss-covered shed by the old cement loading dock draped with vines. He is in exile, perhaps; stupid or weak.
He risks a perilous, paved path just to get a little grass. Maybe he just likes being alive, accepts that he could be gone quick as a kitchen-counter ant.
He knows nothing else, and had no choice, like the fawn who, gathering its first breath, perceives a leaf blower’s distant wail or unmuffled motorcycle’s beastly roar as predators. Naïve as a child born to autocrats and info wars.
Every March a bright patch of dandelion-yellow colt’s foot, even before bloodroot.
* * *
I landed here:
Mostly in fields: Brookfield, Plainfield, Hatfield.
With heat and electricity, naturally;
hot water and flush toilets.
Electric can openers and color TV;
Fizzies and NuGrape.
Assassins, Cold War, and polluted streams;
iodine and ether.
Bedrock belief in democracy’s strength to bear the terrible weight of its aspirations.
* * *
The dike along the river bends through vast acres that will soon be green with corn, potato, and tobacco; spinach, carrot, and soybean; tomato and kale. Tractors stir the cake-like soil.
I have never felt closer to this land as I prepare to leave it.
Yet already there is earth-shaking going on around here.
Rearranging or removing what I cannot toss away.
Painters and carpenters bang and hammer.
Preparing for a place I do not know.
There’s life in old things. Some memories charm. Others shatter.
* * *
Foraging for fiddleheads.
It is time to let go, to pass along this magnificent home.
Wild asparagus, perhaps for the last time.
Always leave a place better than you found it.
White violets on a hillside.
My copious gardens may not be maintained. So be it. Each to his own.
* * *
The steady metronome of oars on needle-like sculls thread the river.
Seven floating mallards, listless but alert, reflect the morning sun, riding the current, sliding sideways, trusting the day.