That Which Reminds

I first experienced it in Texas, in that chapel, that letting-go-ness. After, I thought, how wonderful: how the colors color, how the wind dances, how light the dew smells on the grass. I’ve spent my time recreating the after-experience, so now it’s: how the cold, how the music moves, how the laugh. It’s not the actual experience, that not-I-ness, it can’t be; you can’t live a life that way.

You can see my hesitation, then, when she asks me to go camping with her, to see some stars, she says. I want to see them too, but just see them. Stars can make you forget.

We go to a lake nowhere near a city, where there are trees and crickets and nighted cold. We take a canoe and go out to the middle of the lake. We look up at the stars. Nothing but.

I reach out and take her hand in mine. What are you doing, she asks.

I needed to remember.

A Solitary Leaf

See: on some Chicago street there stands a tree with a single, solitary leaf. Does it fear death, I wonder. Or is its defiance birthed from needing to be seen, needing to be heard – how it ruffles in the wind. It knows that it will be forgotten in death, trampled on, washed away by rain. Its only saving grace, I suspect, would be if it were caught mid-air by some lonely girl, who would keep and treasure it always, thinking that the leaf fell solely so that it could be caught by her.

And so the leaf fell, hoping to be caught.