A year now since we severed, since I compassed north & let the floor fall from beneath me, diving headlong into something entirely unfathomable, some gift given purely in the phenomena of the daily. & how momentous that swift rupture. How our hearts clamored against it & knew it for its necessity at once, somewhere limning resolve & unspeakable remorse, the white fingers clutching the steering wheel & the body borne along while the mind wondered & that heft of grief enwreathed the heart. Laid bare, this new way of being, this new way of carving out a day. Some faith in uncertainty, some awareness that under the foundational intricacies of any given plan, a chasm of yawning, quiet chaos tendrils & vines its way slow about the footholds. What we would hold.
& so the border crossing, the surreal stays in yellowed hotel beds, the soot-grey snow mounting in walls lining the highway, the recognizable signs of human life dwindling as I found myself further & further north. BC. The Yukon Territory. The border again. Jesus, to think of it now. Such a tenuous, frangible time, my heart a thinnest bird’s slivered bone & my will this soldiering, trudging thing carrying me beyond the scope of a word. & in me that odd confluence of opposites shored against one another & elbowing for room—a gasping sadness & a surging exultation to reify an old, half-forgotten dream; the unspoken commerce between the familiar & the entirely new. What selves in me then, what selving, going forward unbidden.
Homer. Denali. A visit or two, a final flailing cry, speaking those words across thousands of miles. I am going to say I love you & then I am going to say goodbye. & all the while, here in the quotidian, in the daily coming & going, was revealed something previously only dimly adumbrated—a me among my days. In protracted hermitage, or in this wilderness, or among friends, this firmer sense of my being, of my being here. & each day this gratitude the richness of which I cannot describe. I hold this life, delicate thing, with a care & wonder to make me weep. To love a thing so. Find its beauty, its darkness, its light, & know its breadth, know how it flashes, briefest buoy against an unremitting tide of circumstance. That I am here at all. There are no such things, I do not think anymore, as small dreams.