Under fog and stars

Going stir-crazy in that little house made of bricks and the modern West.

Little? No hardly. It is expansive, full of the historical thread of a civilization we no longer want anything to do with. Built on greed, lust, power, and death.

All around, I hear the silence of it. The stillness of a death cuddled up inside of what was once alive, of what outside of it is still life. The hum of our modern convenience fills my ears, on and on. And only when it goes out do they burn. Burn from the hush of nothing around. The empty hollowness of a cold and shallow loneliness.

If I step outside, I’ll be out in the cold.
If I step outside, I’ll be out in the open.
If I step outside, I might find some life around.

A deer here and there hooves across the grass in shadows, unseen, unknown. I can hear a sleeping jay stirring to warn me. Something is coming.

My stupid Western heart beats so fast I can hardly stop the shaking. Shivering. Chattering. A dog fenced in the distance bays, bays, bays non-stop. I wonder what it’s calling out?
Death. A trap. The end.

Fog rolls in and starts to cover the milky way I can see over my head when I look up past all these darkened trees. A snake could be in the grass, stirring, ready to strike as I walk by. One of those coyotes in the distant woods might come, smell me, find me. A scrabbling just off my left elbow could be anything. A threat, blind and strike-less.

Nothing comes. Only my bated breath, my visible breath, my shallow breath. I stand there, hands in pockets, cold, freezing. I’m not ready for this weather, this moment, this revelation.

When I see you inside that big, empty house with all the warmth of that oil heater – burning, burning, burning death away – I see it so clearly. You, fenced in, sitting alone in a little warm cage. You sit there in that artificial, cut off silence and read some book about something interesting. You move some dishes around. You are getting up and down. But, out here, I can’t hear a thing.

I can see the whole of it and you, in that little box, see nothing.

Little? Hardly.

The emptiness of this trap we’ve made, generations and generations of us all cobbled together into one massive failure is huge. The weight of it is a lead block on our hearts. The shadow of it massive, impending, damning.

Can you breathe under its veil?
I can’t.

Tonight, we might pitch our tent and sleep in what this Western way tells me is my “yard”. I think the deer and the jays and cardinals own more than I do. The assembly beetles belong wherever they choose to gather. The grass is from the Earth. I’m uncertain if I am or not.

I feel like I want to be.

I think the potato bug on our window sill must have been like me at some point. Knowing what and where and who it was. Four legs just trying, struggling, barely getting on.

It’s dead now.

You and I might make it through this winter, though.
If we can just get back outside where there’s life.
That life holds all the hope there is.

Do you see it?


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