Calling Up the Blood

Earlier this year than last, sleep becomes serrated unto 3 a.m. It is too cold to leave the cocoon of summer blankets. I listen to podcasts and storytelling and news from unreachable lands but in the end, it is singing bowls that tuck me in tighter. In the last dream, the Dalai Lama visits with a holy comfort. We make some jokes together but mostly he is a quiet companion hedging the cliff of unimaginable grief.

The unspooling of summer, with her tenor-tap acorns and chameleon adornments, always presents the same lesson: let go. I don't want this lecture anymore. Yet I arrive at the edge of a pine forest in complete heartache over his silence. The pines are different than other woods – they whisper if they say anything at all, and it is this quiescence that calls up the blood from my being. I'm like that . . . I'll stand there at the verge, overtaken by beauty, unable to accept the responsibility of sullying or ruining what is perfect. So too, my study of Dickinson or the mountains and glacial blues of New Zealand or the hike on Riley Trail that brings one out atop a massive dune overlooking Lake Michigan. This certain hunger lingers. Eventually I step in; that is what it means to be an October child of deep lakes, reflecting the fire of untouchable canopies.

Hours slip away on the rotting back deck. The warmth won't last. The sun won't stay. Therein lies the difficulty of being present only. A flash of red rustles yellowing hasta leaves and his familiar chirrup foreshadows the savior sound of red. Before surrendering to Wednesday, the carmine curl of a maple leaf at my feet.

So it is – red begins.