June 7


I am a space borne cosmonaut, barnstorming through igneous star showers to walk this river road with my ancestors. Everywhere confluence nurtures the Life Blood of my people. She frolics north to the ocean as Moondog and I head south, into the Old Granite Range, home of the Oak and the Greihound, the Cloud People and the Spirit Fletchers.

The fury of the spring thaw has eased into the friendly truce of the season. We inch our way to the water’s edge, it still deep in unlit sleep. And yet, just beyond, first blush casts its glitter on the untold peaks of a liquid dance. We squint and shield our eyes against the stark contrast. I stroke the flanks of moss-covered roots that twist and cascade down the bank. Woven nests of radix and radicle create homes for dryads and water sprites. Colonies of ferns and fungi advance toward the river road and will overtake it when human steps no longer traverse its length. Rocks are clad in layers of lichen, silver, citrine, and rust. I rest a finger on each and listen. I am swept away by their stories of primordial creation when our Mother’s febricity cooled and herbiferous life began. I come here at the apex of majesty, a consecrated mage, the consecution of myth.

The trail is cowled by the dancing shadows of Ancient Ones, shades of a different age still directing the play. Stage left, stage right, an interlude, an epilogue, and finally the afterpiece that will lead us into nought, scorned and forgotten. Moondog and I know the truth of it and yet we linger here and there, inhaling the remnant spark of a consummate terrene, sustaining the belief that in that breath it will last forever.

The day longs to close its languid eyes and we leave the road to find a place to camp. Already spirits scurry about hiding from my inquisitive wonder. They lay in wait of darkness to attest that I am made of the stern stuff needed to interlace the gossamer worlds of the Infinite Present.

A fire would be nice. I want to sit with outstretched hands and watch its mystifying flicker. And when I can’t take anymore I will curl up in Moondog’s embrace and we will dream together, reaching back to the days of the ice sheet where iron hearted hunters stalked stupendous creatures. We will heed the querists sculpting goddesses from the ivory of mammoths.

The gloam of dusk-down capacitates a concord of specks and flecks of song. Some I know: cooing birds nestling into their downy comfort, crickets with their ceaseless search for lovers. But the understory rustles, twigs snap, feet shuffle in the residuum of forgotten realms. I wonder if someone approaches, seeking the illusion of safety so well portrayed by our fire. Perhaps I am hearing a predator assessing the opportunity for a meal, or simply a roebuck settling into a quiet thicket to protect her fragile child. And too, wood nymphs awaken and deliberate. Humans have camped in their grove. Should they be enfolded or driven off? My thoughts drift to the wildwood adepts who straddle the layers with such spellbinding acuity, one moment corporeal the next nothing more than a penumbral impression. I would step into their world if it could be found. But it is forever lost to us now, superannuate even to an ancient people. How could we discard as obsolete the facility to merge with a tree or soar like an eagle? Then we had a hundred names for snow, could articulate the voice of thunder, and sing a thousand songs that conveyed water dancing amidst the reeds. We spoke to the wind and he answered us with words we understood. Fire blazed sylvestral secrets, we listened and knew. I long to remember but grieve that I cannot. It sits just beyond the edge of memory but I can’t find the headwaters that flow along the banks of wisdom. I want to be a leaf in that Life Blood destined to the oblivion of absolute awareness.

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