Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Standing Still in Seven-League Boots
The flowers push up and our legs are swinging out out over them, up hill and down hill, visiting our haunting grounds. Along the way are curls of green in the earth and hard, red buds clinging close to bare branches, and in some places, pussy-willows make little bounds, back and forth, in the wind. It seems like the air should ring out like bells, the same high metal note over and over.
We move through the cold places to be warm, watching nature scrabbling along in her brown twig coat, dead leaves for a collar and flowers at her feet. There has been too much of indoor life lately, brewing plans and staring up at the blank ceiling on mornings. Too much mental note-taking of the various versions of me that inhabit me, trying to calculate which ones are doing and which ones are resting. And so I have started wishing for mountains, tall, bright places to throw lonely thoughts off of.
Or to be very small perhaps, never to forget that landscape would always overwhelm me. It is just a question of remembering, I suppose. And trying to stop my one eye from looking always to the future while the other looks always to the past.
But if I could manage all that bright stillness would I still feel the restless, wildness of spring?
Things like waiting for the first thunderstorm of spring, and running out into the nighttime city streets to be in the thick of it. Walking an uphill street as the water rushed down past our legs, a river a foot deep. Lightning and thunder flashing and rumbling in our bones. Clothes that dripped for two days on hangars by the door.
I wouldn't like to miss things like that.
So our legs stretch longer and longer across the landscape as the evening slips off to a golden resting place, ducking out at a moment when everyone, dazzled, forgot to keep taking notice.
In the dark, we move on invisible legs through waterlogged grasses. The wind comes in off the sea and there is only the feeling of feet and earth. Sometimes I cease to move forward and backwards at once, and my eyes fall on the vastness of the tiniest of stars. The wind roars silently through my lungs and the mountains would be useless, compared with the space above.