Thursday, January 10, 2008

Can you remember?

Evening again. Late. What is there about the night? Do you remember? Can you remember?

Can you remember, sitting on the back porch? Inside, behind you, the adults are talking, the sound muted, muffled, drifting absently in your direction. In front of you nothing is visible except that small familiar stretch of grass and the old tree that’s been there since forever, now a blackness against the blackness. You take a step forward, and then another. The house behind you dissolves into the unimportant memory that it is. Even the voice sounds now blend into the larger symphony of the night – wind gently blowing, a train whistle – properly forlorn – somewhere in the distance, cricket sounds and – best of all, most of all – there is the sound of the living earth, softly breathing. If you stand there long enough and if you are quiet enough and if there is still something ancient and primal in your soul, then then then – just then you might realize your heartbeat is in rhythm with the night.

Can you remember?

Can you remember the fields behind the house? Can you remember going, going – the fields, the thrust of trees, a promise of the deep woods beyond. Can you recall the small creek beyond, just enough rocks spaced that you almost think you could make it across dry? Did you know – absolutely – in your heart, that you were the only human being that ever did or ever would stand in this very spot? Did you have the pull in a direction that was pulling you almost desperately, knowing that if you followed that pull you would never turn back, never even look back. Even once?

Can you remember? Can you remember why you didn’t do it?

I can.

I wonder about that sometimes.

So do you.

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