Back from the Beloved River

I’m back from my yearly pilgrimage to the first home of my heart, and it’s all I can think about.

Not in a bad way, like it has been some years, not like a recent wound. In fact, I’ve never been so eager to leave.

I spent the last night in my tent dreaming of choking, while my sleeping body struggled to breathe through intense congestion in my head and chest. By the time I got home, I felt like I’d run six hours, instead of driven them. A day of rest, including sleeping in my own bed, never leaving my bathrobe, and commandeering four midday hours for a nap, felt pretty sweet.

So I’m glad to be home, which I think is a good sign. And I keep thinking back to my redwoods week, which–finally–feels like a gift. I’ve always known I carry this place with me, but often enough that’s felt like a sentence of exile. Today it feels like a grace, a backbone, a friend.

Here’s a piece I wrote about this friend, and the complications of relating to them, published last September in Empty Mirror.

Early Light, Mill Creek Mouth

I never read as much as I imagine I will during my week away. Certainly I read, but I also spend so much time just sitting with the words, resonating them, sending them out into my surroundings and listening for how they change as they echo back. I am only good at this when I feel unhurried and one-minded, and my redwoods are one of the few places that reliably induce that state in me.

So I spent a very long morning with David Budbill’s Moment to Moment, which delighted and occasionally irritated me. The irritation was part of the delight, in retrospect. I started another book, too, but I kept returning all week to the poems in Moment to Moment. I’ve now dropped it back at the library, and find myself wishing I owned a copy; therefore struggling with my desire to Buy Fewer Things.

I discovered Budbill’s work, by the way, through the wonderful recent anthology Poetry of Presence. I read that on the train to and from another home place, and it too I recommend completely.

Talking of which, here’s a (very) short mindful poem of my own, drafted at my river last year, and published in last month’s Kissing Dynamite.

Translation Fail. Still.

Thoughts? Questions? Stories to share?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s