Saturday, April 01, 2006
In the past three years there has been ample time for looking back.
While climbing a mountain involves concentration on the path upward, it is nonetheless customary for climbers to stop and survey the familiar scenery behind them. This gives the climber the opportunity to rest and also allows them to gauge how far they've come. As the climber nears the summit, these interludes become more necessary and more rewarding. The view of the terrain behind is expansive.
I've combed the details, asked every question I knew words to ask, turned my understanding on its head. Lately you've been with me more, showing up in the smell of stranger I pass in the diner or the way the light falls. I remember the empty times, gleaning nickels and dimes from the floor by your bed, the fearful closeness of the abtruse corridors of your mind. But I'm saying goodbye. I wake and smile: goodbye.
Once at the summit, the climber is met with the descent into new terrain. Before taking the path downward, however, a climber will often turn and take a last look at the familiar landscape behind. Once the climber passes the summit, the view from the side of the mountain ascended is recalled in memory alone. The path downward to valley below is now the proper domain and preoccupation of the climber.
For the time being, I am ok with your ghostlike presence. I notice you. But the sunlight is warm and real.