I made it to this café, to sit in front of this computer with a beer (although not the most tasty one) after hunting down my son at Yosemite National Park with the expert assistance of super-sleuth Levinski. Yes, my only, magical son, who has dreams swirling about him and histories of grandfathers and mothers who have told me in my own dreams that he will be special, that he IS special and nothing should surprise me. But it does—and infuriates me.
I have made the commitment to do this—I have made a crazy airline reservation and ungodly travel itinerary to fly to Iowa to take a workshop on writing about Place. It’s funny because Place for me is Many Places, but not here—not Austin. It is the cold biting wind of the farm in Dimmitt, or the arroyos and cicada sounds of Palo Duro Canyon—but it is as if this town is sterile for me, except of course for The Springs.
I remember writing a poem (now long burned in the fire) about swimming, about life below the surface of the water. That is an experience almost holy. Which reminds me of another poem – long ago when Eliza was tiny, about lying beneath the Cottonwoods at Deep Eddy. The orgasmic Cottonwood. Gasp.
I guess I am wrong then. There is magic here. Here be dragons, and magic and grottos with random offerings and burning red dragonflies, and maidenhair fern.
If I were to do this right this would be a weaving, woof and weave, story and naturalism. The shift in my life, the “natural transition” as the Black Cohosh bottle calls it, and the loss of self somehow dovetailing into the life-cycle of the dragonfly, all told in books, not the internet. This will be my challenge. Or maybe I don’t even know. I feel the urge to explore, to travel, to question and research and watch light shifting over a room, to see what is not being seen. I guess then I would like to be the see-er, the one who wonders what the burning red dragonfly notices about a woman standing by a grotto before a random collection of offerings at the statue of St. Francis and why she doesn’t want to move as long as it holds still, apprehending.