Sunday, July 22, 2012

Exploring the Gaps

Chris has just left for the week, and the trailer seems very empty without him. I miss him already—how on earth did we manage to be apart for months on end in the past? I guess one just freezes something for a while, and then thaws it out again afterwards.

Are your own migrations taking you away from your mate today? I know they do, sometimes. So much of your life seems merely theoretical to me, because I know only the vaguest possible things about it. I know roughly where you live and where you work, roughly what you do for a living, and so forth, but at any given moment I don’t know whether you are working or resting or what. Of course, at the moment there is no one on Earth whose actual facts by the moment are known to me, except for myself and the cat and the mosquitoes, because are alone here in this trailer, but I tell myself that I know. I know Chris is driving south with the dogs. I know my mother is sleeping, or maybe starting to get up, and that she will likely have coffee and a soft-boiled egg on toast for breakfast. With you? I’m just not privy to the daily details of your life. You are like the virtual cat, who is either in this state or that state, but I don’t know which, so in my mind you must therefore be nowhere in particular.

But, I saw you yesterday, and the day before, the actual, there-you-are, YOU.  I like having such direct evidence that you exist. I liked talking with you, and watching you work, and being able to help in some small way. I like that you guessed, correctly, that I already knew about structural color in feathers. And then off you went again, like one of those birds you were talking about, who fly off to Mexico, or Argentina, or wherever, and we know nothing about what they do, other than that they come back here. But, as you said, in such travel there are no guarantees.  Yesterday was a pin stuck in a map blank with unknowing, and I have guesses anchored to that pin. I know you were here, and I know you must leave again, so I imagine you saying your goodbyes to you mate with a sigh, the closing of your car door, and then the clear head of solitude and the rhythm of the road.

I think I even met your mate, though you did not introduce her as such, personal detail being obviously irrelevant in that context. If she was not your mate, she was obviously a good friend of yours, for you seemed relaxed around each other, comfortable. I liked her. I don’t see how anybody wouldn’t, actually. Am I allowed to approve, although my approval was not sought?

I’m savoring another dawn today. The sun is just beginning to lighten the sky, though sun-up itself is still far away. The birds are all shouting beautifully; like me, they are awake with something to say, and nothing else to do but say it. I always thought that birds quiet down towards mid-day because they get busy doing something other than singing, but you say otherwise, and you would know. I will have to move quickly, once I sign off here, and get out and explore, while the gap between one thing and the next is still open.

Oh, my friend. My cranky, ornery, knowledgeable, generous, difficult friend, you do something thing that no merely fictional muse can; you refuse to be what I expect. 

I looked it up, by the way, that pink grass like the fairy candelabras? It is redtop, I’m almost sure of it.

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