I’m thinking a lot about roots today, and got in touch with some of my kin from my father’s side. The following is a re-write of something I composed back in the fall of 2017. It seems to fit…
I came from a home of books, and bike rides, and walks down to the river. I came from sunshine on skin, and bare feet from April til August. A place of wonder and of tears, of loss and of hope.
I came from a family who settled in Bloomington Minnesota after World War II. I came from a darkened living room, where daily deaths and casualties of Vietnam scrolled on the nightly news. I came from a hot summer night in July where my father woke us to see the Apollo moon landing.
I come from these things I learned about the war, I emerged from being embedded in unspoken belief in science, and America, and fishing, and racial justice. Done deals. The way it Is, when you call yourself an American.
I came here by love for shaking the tree. I came here out of family values of the “good” in our world, and how we’ll always probably need to struggle to make the world more closely match our vision.
The vision is gained by shedding a cloak. I am going toward a place where I the fire is tended, whether I realize it or not. I am looking at a forest of friends, to uncover the twilight of loss and why that is no country to live in.
Instead of silence, breath.
Instead of silence, the world coming into me through pores of the skin.
Instead of silence, the wind in oak branches.
Instead of silence, repose and rest.
Featured image of Crow-Hassan Park Reserve. Post image is section of restored mural painted in 1931 by Cora Holden at the Drury Plaza Cleveland Hotel. All images by Michele Montserrat.
This seat on the couch – I am mixing up the morning to see what comes of different postures. Provoking a new strand of this thread of Willing-by-Ink on dead trees. The surface texture broken on the plain expanse of cream-colored paper – a lined, effortful intent.
And there it is again, tension in the upper back and neck. Relief happens with a shoulder hunch and neck revolution, accompanied by a slight crinkling when tendons flex. The stretch is THERE… right in the middle of my upper back.
Realizing success in perseverance, in the effort of continuing the flow of inspiration, an overcoming of the inertia of decades. No regrets, but why did I not take up this from of art before? Was I betting on the lottery of slothful indulgence to pay off in the end?
The problem, the Buddha said, is that you think you have time.
Last weekend, I attended my first meeting of the wholly wholesome protest sect Extinction Rebellion. If you’re a government agent reading this, I’d here like to state that they are not, in any way, a terrorist organization, despite the fearsome name. This is a post about what they are instead.
I think I suspected, while dressing (what to wear to a climate activist meeting, I fretted? Answer: literally anything) that it would be me and about six other people. Instead, they kept having to bring in more chairs.
I did not take photos, but if I had, a panorama of the room would have revealed:
Older women in vibrant attire.
Earnest couples in their early thirties, all definitely here for the first time, and probably, like me, wondering whether we can justify having kids.
Some timid young men, heads bent over phones.
Many people who used they/them pronouns. (“I respond…
Spirited through time, riven we make our meek adjustments, deferring to the feeding frenzy when communal touch and slow dinners are what we really crave. Clacking skeletons of capitalist spectacle drown out our warm mammalian needs, dance on our graves blot out the sun.