Tuesday, April 22, 2008

what is etched in veins: wild with all regret

"In wildness is the preservation of the world." --Thoreau

"In the song of the Mockingbird, Walt Whitman hears love-sickness, wild with all regret, and he greets the bird as 'my darling demon.'" --Bedichek

"Every year the tempo of leaf-gumming accelerated furiously toward Tu bi-Shevat, the fifteenth of the month of Shevat: the New Year for the Trees...All we knew was that to create a Jewish forest was to go back to the beginning of our place in the world..." --Shama

"Trees have a curious relationship to the subject of the present moment. There are many created things in the universe that outlive us, that outlive the sun even, but I can’t think about them. I live with the trees. There are creatures that live under our feet, creatures that live over our heads, but trees live quite convincingly in the same filament of air we inhabit…they abide." --Annie Dillard

And so I walk away, tender with that same old ache of longing. What have we talked about: nothing of any importance. In my hand I hold a smattering of words, dry leaves rattling over the red earth, but I covet them, skeletons all, for the veins etched like a treasure map into what once was an open palm, what once was flesh.