You should have been there to see the loveliest skilllet-cornbread rising like a hot air balloon in the oven and fried green tomatoes spitting and sizzling on the stove.  I don’t care what people think about that kind of thing; to me, it was really a new day.  I can’t think of myself as incompetent in the kitchen, anymore — I now know my stuff.  We’re trying bagels, soon, too.

I’m getting ready to leave with Katie Gray and Josh for the West.  I’m thinking a large portion of the bagels will come with.  When I think about driving all those thousands of miles, I just keep seeing a map, lines drawn to separate state from state and parks from not-parks.  Districts, counties, rivers snaking throughout, lakes, all outlined in some inocuous shade of blue or green, sometimes tan.  And then from there I think of myself in it all and I fall like a falcon, miles to the surface of things, riding with my face out the window and camera strap around my neck, waiting for something beautiful.  And there’ll be so much of that, I can’t think.  What sort of break, after all, after everything?

What kind of break or cleft is there between “stages” of living, of a life?  Are they breaks, or clefts?  Or just lines of separation, dotted, drawn on a map, which is not the thing itself but a way to understand the thing?  I want to know that now is a new county, that I’ve crossed perhaps state lines, and am in a new place with a new name.  And I have to reconcile that with the desire to understand my living as one long branch of tree or river, bends & elbows & brokennesses but single, going forward only, and passing its source of life & maturity from the beginning all the way to the tender, tenderest, end.

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