J., the wisest man I’ve known, told me once that he wanted two women, one to write about, and one he could take care of. He talked about being dedicated more to a place than to people, or was it people rather than place. I can never remember.
I’ve tried both, loving the location, its pizzerias, its theaters, the deep and tangled forest beneath my feet, refusing to leap when others leave. I’ve tried eschewing place for person. Packing up the car at a whim and moving along with my love.
Neither state brought me joy, married in two, schooled in four, alive and in love in at least seven more. Neither state brought me peace.
I have been a river, that misnomer noun which is in fact a verb, river being neither the passing water, nor the bed, nor the fish, nor the waves, but the moving only and always. I have been the droplet that becomes a stream, melted off some mountain, trapped in some eddy, rushing along the rocky spoor, always missing something.
While rocks know rocks across the shore, and the sunrise is a conspiracy of sky in concert with the well-known leaves of the trees, I have been all about moving. Nothing for too long. Not with the waterfall ahead, nor the exhilaration of falling, the crash of flirtation. All about slipping over beds of leaves, lifting silt, polishing the edges off stone.
I have seen the darkness no light can penetrate, and been, again, the lifted air. Committed to cycle, to process, to forever and nothingness. Nourishment and weapon. Cool and boiling. Carved a canyon with no apparent plan. Just dripping.
Some say we come from a comet or stars. Some from the hot plasma of the beginning. A bond unbreaking.
J. would call bullshit on all of this, and wax philosophical about the importance of proper condiments on french fries. He always seemed to be staying on a track towards something, towards love, a commitment to an art, or an anesthetic, or a city . While I felt like it was best to keep evaporating.