Lately by Way of Always

and belonging to the blue –
October sky

Instead, January. The snow rises and surrenders to invisible breath, swirling off the roof like smoke aiming to be some where. One can be lifted by it – the chin, the eyes – but isn't. Air below zero from the north keeps things buttoned-up. Quieter.

Have you considered the magnetic orientation?

Lately – by way of always – the dreams that kiss.

The rare arrival of a few moments of direct sunlight undoes it all, like emerging out of a movie theatre, blinded to the world accordingly. Of course we would flinch!

Too cold to walk. Too dark to dream. Too close to look away. January takes the proverbial cake.

Sometimes the pews in Kenya were painted blue but they were really more of a bench --  weathered turquoise feet unattached to the floor. The men sat on the right side and the women and children on the left. Though, as missionaries, we could sit together as a family on the men's side.

A choice of goliath and generational consequence always seemed to be hovering over how to do things – how to do life – when living as a minority in a foreign land. Every moment of every day was a wrestling match of thought and action, race and tribe, privilege and poverty. Do I put all the wash out on the line in a potentially ostentatious display of abundance? Do I flee when genocidal violence erupts around my compound? Do I wear a disguise when driving my kids to school to deter carjacking surveillance? Do I hire a house-worker like all the other expatriates, both reinforcing a stereotype and providing a paying job to someone who wouldn't be able to feed their children that week?

In winter's white-wash that kind of blue is hidden; the faded, cracking, worn-out color is tamped down and forced to reconsider.

From the chair facing east, I watch for dawn's Prussian gradient, tilting towards Sunday. Sure, I pray for sun.

And I miss the sea and the way the breeze brings water to my pores. I miss the erasure of cartography when my feet sink into serous sand. Those are the things I think of sitting here.

Alone. And not alone.