Thursday, March 27, 2008

FIELD NOTES: My dearest Harrybrooke, there must have been a battle;

March, 2008

...just as good and evil are found inherent in us, it is found in nature as well. I was astonished to see how many branches (not just kindling, but limbs of size) were so widely strewn. It was your Gettysburg, a family fighting itself, the force of nature wielding itself against the beauty of nature. I can imagine the booming rite of Stravinsky, the art of war and so many unknown battles. You will repair and reinvent yourself and I might see your progress week by week, season by season, if I care to pay attention. As I stepped around your lost members, the day’s brief sun was chased away by outbursts of wind and tossed pillows of gray. But the little rivulet was trickling and its sound, even more than the proverbial first sighting of a robin, signaled to me the persistence of spring.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

FIELD NOTES: There are stars on the water...

Wednesday (after school), March 26, 2008

...flashes as bright as mirrors on the afternoon river, perhaps the original impetus for the belief in fairies… like Tinkerbell on the Disney wristwatch I am wearing; I experience after-images for some time as I blink my eyes and continue walking. I try to count their points – are there five… or six…or eight? But they move too quickly and if I standstill, they disappear; they are only visible with the movement of my body. Most days the water’s reflection is all-of-a-piece - a length of moving moirĂ© – but today each reflection is individual and singular in appearance. Are these the wishes released from comets…or snowflakes in the afterlife? Is it silly…or naive…or hopeful…to put aside simple science or complexities of faith…and believe…(no, delight) in the magical? The same wind that ripples the river pushes me up the rise in the road like an over-eager classmate behind me in line. An ordinary day becomes extraordinary, when I am not just pretending to re-live childhood enchantment, when my mouth makes up a soundtrack of peepers and gurgling water and an awakening nest of frogs to use the next day with my little students, when I forget the need for explanation, when it all comes naturally upon me in a flash. It feels peaceful to be so awed in middle-age and yet a burden because there are those who may not appreciate that I see stars on the water after school….that I am so easily amused...that I can pose the question: is Earth the heaven of stars and snowflakes?