There’s been a romance to my days lately that tastes like life on my tongue. I’m letting it sink sweetly into my soul, trusting that grace inherent in these star-soaked moments is a beauty meant to be enjoyed and flinging my arms open wide to embrace more of it.
As this new year slides into the present day I find myself sifting through my dreams in a mindful, meandering way. Some have shifted from floating feathers of potential to present tense, and I touch them with gratitude in my heart. Others still fly free, and I regard them with a new clarity. And always, always, I am creating new ones forged from the sunsets of yesterday and the bright skies of tomorrow.
Dirty footmarks on the windshield. Forgotten socks sitting forlorn on the bed back home. Super-novas gazing down with wide eyes as miles of forest fly by. Hot desert sun reminiscent of summer fooling us into thinking that the heat will linger. Beers grasped in chalk-covered hands that grow cold with the descending night. Rambling on by the fireside: climbing, aliens, our mutual affection for well-made cookies. Falling asleep under shallow winter skies that rise heavy and pregnant with a thousand different dreams. Forgetting that time exists because the days are marked only by sunset, sunrise and dinner eaten out of dusty pans. Well-told stories and off-key songs. Melted soles of shoes from prolonged proximity to the fire. Hair’s a mess and you don’t care, we laugh it off and each day is as perfectly imperfect as the last.
I think I need to go on a road trip.
Eyes caught across a crowded room, and a flash of understanding. Or maybe I imagine it. I send myself to do backflips in my head, spin around, run away and then return to where I stand, unmoving and frozen in sea of swimming souls. My existence is steady, slow moving, all thudding heart and deep breaths drunk down. I do a cartwheel, when our eyes collide once more, and I am once a lioness, a komodo dragon, a raven with ink-black wings spread wide. A litany of thoughts cycle redundant as I tumble head over heels down a rabbit hole of dreams converged. Wisps of dark tendrils creep out of those depths you call eyes to tempt me and resonate in the hollows of a heart I had for a moment thought empty. I see now it was merely wounded. Anticipation surfaces as dense vibrations ring through limbs heavy and tense, and feeling the ground on which I stand is difficult.
Again, we see each other, and the stars scatter recklessly, half-drunk on their own brilliance and you smile because you know that we’re alone in this sea of souls. We are feathers floating on a breeze, your eyes speak, and my feet come free and I step towards you, asking only one thing. Where to?
We slip into silent mind meandering, the road stretched out heavy and long before us. Wild antelope graze, flashes of form in the waning winter light. My feet are propped up on the dashboard, shoes on the floor in the pile of notebooks and water bottles and cheap beef jerky. A short little while passes, and then you reach over to tug the music up louder so it’s more than the whisper it was while our conversation perpetuated. Silence bothers you. I wonder if my quiet heart bothers you, that the soft shades of grey passion that color my soul are not bright enough for your wild eyes. It must be okay with you, I decide, because otherwise we wouldn’t be on this lonely line of pavement together, and your fingers wouldn’t creep across the gum wrappers and unnecessary pile of scarves that occupy the space between us to twine themselves in mine. My fingers are sticky from gummy worms, my preferred road trip snack, and you pull away after it becomes apparent that the heat between us is melting the goo onto your hands. I’m okay with that though, because I like your scruffy face and your smooth fingers and your rangy legs. There are moments I hold tight to my subtlety grey shaded heart, those moments in which I lose the realization that any world exists outside of this wanderlust relationship. Sometimes you throw me onto the bed with suddenly strong arms and a welcomed intense intention and I know that there’s not a thing I’d change. And I wonder where it goes from there. Does it go anywhere at all?
When I was little I would drink out of streams everywhere. I felt myself immune to such everyday things like giardia. And by little I mean I still do that. Not in urban areas, of course, because humanity in excess is a recipe for germs, but in wild free places where the water flows pristine and is a recipe for everlasting life. I don’t really believe in germs though. And I’m fairly certain that if you don’t believe in something it doesn’t exist. Because reality is built of our own perception, correct? At least that’s what quantum physics says, sort of.
So when I was little I’d lay down beside the moss covered banks of the trickling creeks and lean my head down and my lips would touch the cold fresh glacier water and I would suck it in between my blueberry stained lips and it would create balance and harmony in my soul. Because that’s what fresh water does. Real water, not this recycled chlorinated crap that they feed us from taps and other contrived places.
Sometimes I wish I lived in the woods in a teepee and I drank from a stream every day and melted snow when it was frozen over. And that I had a bird-friend that would catch me tasty rabbits. I think that someday I might perhaps do that. We’ll see. For now I’ll keep drinking out of mountain streams until I get sick. Which won’t ever happen, because I don’t believe in germs.
I feel as if we have a certain obligation to explore every path in life. As if, unknowingly, we will miss what may have been a vital turn and become lost amidst the chaos. Those of us who have passed on may know now of what is to come, but those us alive have only the certainty of death to rely upon. Knowing this one absolute, we owe it to ourselves to leap off cliffs, run blindly down twisting roads and run full tilt through life with joy in our hearts and mischief in our steps. Once gone, we leave only the love we had behind. Once our very beings cease to be, what we were lives echoed through those who knew us, loved us and laughed with us. The concept of death is so abstract, so surreal and devastating in its finality. We, who were at a time so entirely real, so completely tangible, with heartbeats and breath, will be gone. One moment here and true, the next a memory and a tear. This reality of grief pulls at my heart, like the ache I sometimes feel for those friends I have said goodbye to on windy mountaintops among lighting and heavy, somber energy. I feel it in some tragic way for myself. I can pull back and see myself as this soul who has so many dreams, so many plans and so much optimism, and all that has hurt me, and I can’t help embrace it all and see it as beautiful. And in doing so, feel such deep empathy and deep sorrow, for in seeing that in myself I see it in all of us. We are not so different, you and I.