These are the days after daylight savings time -- of early rising and setting, of falling back into being standard -- and maybe this is why it feels good. Springing forward rushes, spurring urgency, reminding that you must run hard and fast over the next six months. There is no time to stay at home or indoors or lallygag. The sun beats from its high-noon arched pulpit that the days are longer for a reason. So get busy. Find your reason.
As a child my reason was kick-the-can into twilight. As a youth, it was bathing and blowing cattle and cleaning stalls to George Straight’s croons late into the night. Modern ‘lightricity,’ as my sister used to say, lengthened days as well as work. I wonder if Franklin or Edison thought about that --- now, you can always see the shit.
Then as a college student, I lost track of seasons and daylight -- and my reason -- locking myself into windowless practice rooms for hours at a time, within a city socked in the stasis of fog. For years, life was measured in sonata form by semester.
And now as an adult, I’ve found it again -- my reason, the highcountry. Long days are created for hikes deep in and their opposite. Spent in these glacial-fed-lake cirques, the hours are a microcosm of the larger world. Strange, I always think, being in a place at once expansive and yet suffocating, ages old and yet young – but such opposites tinge love (of place and person); and thus, we not only are able to discover familiar in the foreign, but also foreign in the familiar. Like a lover who daily you learn, and after years turned into decades still find pleasure in re-reading....like a good book or homewaters.....none are ever exactly the same twice. Such opposites, discrepancies if you will, also tinge life – and mine and its parts are summed between abacus wires framed on foothills, equalized on talus.
Yet right now the days are short, and getting shorter. Right now is the time of addition. The sum will be worked out in seven months or so. In the meantime, I add.
If we want to survive, we have to. For what is life but subtraction always at work? Thus we run on, trying to keep the ground we’ve gained, trying to work harder. Sometimes putting up trail signs – not the kind showing the animal track of its namesake; rather the un-named sort following blazes in tree-trunks. Other times, we want no one to follow us -- the terrain being too good, or bad -- and so we nail up No Trespassing signs at overly-cautious 9 ft. intervals. But I want to survive, and I want to leave a trail.
I read, laying in a sun patch, spreading like a stain over carpet I should be vacuuming. But instead I add stories and words to a mind already full.
I sit at my desk and tie, adding to boxes from whom many were lost. Some blood stained. Some frayed. All, mirrors of a soul.
I write, to add memories to a life I hope won’t someday be forgotten.
And I wait, to be measured, weighed, and not found wanting.