Map to Immortality

Day begins in an ordinary dark. Remnants of dreams suggest that no one can free you except yourself. It makes sense at 4 a.m., but the tangle of day knots another narrative altogether. You turn the light on and wait in bed for the next directive: feed the dog, take your pills, make breakfast, prod the teenagers to life. Earl Grey tea and apple slices. You sit to write but remember that you know nothing. The edges of words become mushy and their meanings matter even less. Instead, stacks of reading. You remember Nisargadatta and Singh and the other guru who knows the way home, yet has never seen how you are changed and satisfied in his company. Glittering dawn breaks through after a seamless gray. Nothing is a mistake unless repeated. So, a new way? Sunlight spies on you through the french door windows as you watch black squirrels kick snow all along the fence line. Finger-smudged light switches; dishes in the sink. Curry is the spice of life! From table to couch to bed to sink, you work and pace and settle and think. You sing “Zombie” in honor of the departed and play air drums and guitar at all the right parts. The snow plow rattles the windows as it makes it way around the cul-de-sac. There is no more longing for spring, only survival. Only this. The shower is a retreat from freezing, and the water's rhythm soothes the rough edges. You wash the body with slow care – a gentle departure from the rush of completing the day's tasks. Geranium Lime essential oil, purple underwear, black bra, jeans and a tired hoodie with loose threads on the sleeve. Socks, Adidas. The day is half gone but you are newer than that. You are wondering and awake – doing the right thing for each moment – being effortless, for a time anyway. A sprig of lavender is pressed as far into the crease as possible. Page break. Do you know that I nominated that poem for its map to immortality? Dinner, dishes, and the family's diaspora. You crawl into bed to part with the day. And the dreams, they lead back to you.