26 August 2010

something new

09 August 2010

“The long silences need to be loved, perhaps
more than the words
which arrive
to describe them
in time.” Franz wright (“home remedy”)


To only read what he has written seems like cheating. So I begin in the middle. I do not have the words now, yet at the moment I wonder if digging out from under strange grief and the impossible heaviness of fear could bring me closer to them.
He told me I should be an archeologist. I think I would like this science--it does remind me of counseling, of storytelling. Knowing there are things that tell some kind of tale buried under the years of sediment.

When you go digging, what will you find? Something that changes everything about what we thought of these now landscapes; that reminds us that even when memory fails, there are traces, there are tangible things left behind.

My friend tells me that whale bones and fossilized roots of mandrake trees were found in the Sahara. Buried under layers of dirt and sand, sitting in their long silence and waiting to be discovered, for the words of their story to be found. Maybe this is near where Leah and Rachel were in love with the same man, and used the love tree to conceive children. A legacy of twelve sons, real people, becoming twelve tribes--a whole nation. Carbon imprints don’t tell all that went on in that family.


Night sitting outside on our small patch of lawn behind the apartment building. Closed in by the tall multi-families. Walls of brick on one side, parking lot and the metro line on the other. We take a six foot diameter circle of the freshly mowed grass and live us a summer night. Brownies and cans of PBR.

The story of our time together and conversation, unless I record it here, now, lives only in memory. And I doubt that someone would wonder, when they dig up that landfill and find those few aluminum cans among hundreds of thousands, about our night under the invisible stars reading poetry, and talking about archaeology, and whale bones and mandrake roots that someone found in the middle of the desert.

A place to start: write down some bits and pieces and tell, in between the long silences, a moment of what has been lived.