When I was running yesterday, I saw a woman with red hair, black sunglasses, a black coat and black flats. She wasn’t young but not particularly old. One hand was in her pocket the other held a cigarette. When she carried the cigarette to her lips I wanted to be her–and as I ran by, the cigarette flowed across my path and I breathed in deeply.
Whose is the grave beneath the hill
Were he alive, thy death he’d be
I mention this only because it is strange. I don’t smoke…and yes I tried cigarettes when I was young, but they never took (I was lucky in that way). But there was something evoked that I wanted at that moment.
they are born another way
When I was running today, I saw a dead baby robin, very young, fallen from its nest. For an instant I was inside that curled being–that moment of life before dying.
Wren for women Robin for man
I also saw a crushed snail. I tried to feel my way inside, but it was hard. And then I did, the slowdeath. I gave it a petal for remembrance
rosemary is for
And then the flickering black-capped chickadee–full of life and vibrant. And the gigantic tree, her arms stretched and reaching and strong.
Some of what I am writing here is about ghosts–we all have them, don’t we? But the rest is about being something. An excess of empathy. I’m not sure what the use of this is–I still feel sad, hours later, about that little dead bird–but it’s dead. Sincerely and fully no longer alive nor subject to suffering.
and they did
and it drowned every one
So, what purpose my feeling it. Or you feeling it, when you feel this sort of thing. (The whole mirror neuron thing) None–only to make me, to make you, feel less complacent, I suppose. Because none of what I feel, the curled sense, falling, crush, is real. I am writing this but I do not expect you to believe I am writing as the bird, or that I am any closer to understanding the existence of that nestling or that snail. It is something run amock.
I am no closer to knowing that bird covered in oil, and I feel it on me but I don’t really because I couldn’t possibly get close to feeling it but I still feel sick because of the being inside sort of thing.
Am I living or dead, am I leaves or grass?
There was a crow with a worm; and in another time and place, a hawk carrying a snake across the sky and I found myself inside of each; I found myself separated from each by an abyss.
quotes are by
Lady Charlotte Guest, Francis Ponge, Norman Iles, Natalya Gorbanevskaya