It’s all fair game. Every memory of the past, all the shoes I’ve ever worn, the railroad tracks where I used to place nickels and dimes for the wheels of approaching trains. Even the memories not mine. My father not going to art school and instead the military. My mother’s piano lessons at age six. My great grandmother’s decision to marry at age fourteen (or younger?).
Somewhere in the dark night sky a cloud floats past and says nothing. That cloud can see things I cannot when I sit here and pick my dinner from my teeth, thinking about the diapers that need to be washed, what projects I’ll accomplish tomorrow.
Tonight a good friend called on the phone. I listened to his words and looked at five photographs taped together to create a panoramic view of an Alaskan mountain top. I took those photos years ago while working as a Youth Conservation Corp crew leader in Southeast Alaska. He spoke of the Truths of life as he saw them, the truths that had been below the surface of my thoughts all day. Our conversation expanded and floated into the clouds in the photograph. I felt like I could see a part of myself so clearly, and how everything in my life and the lives of everyone everywhere had conspired to make this seeing-of-myself, in this moment, possible.
And that is how it is. These things could be better said in a poem. Or better sensed in a poem. But sometimes I like it messy. Sometimes I like to dump the contents of my book bag onto a table. Coins, receipts, phone numbers, coupons, and grit from living life with two hands, two feet.