Certain Liberties

I have dreams about the wild places of the earth: the open fields of Iowa, where the corn blooms and U.F.O. sightings happen more than once a year. I walk down a dusty country road, past the purple haze of nettles and shelter belts, under a blue-bowled sky. Images coalesce. Colours blend. I play with my thoughts without thinking. Walking through this field of vision, I follow the never-ending fence and sigh, my soul moving with the grass. I could lose myself here, beneath these elm trees. I never feel so alive as when I’m walking outside with the wind in my face. When I wake in the mornings, I find my eyes brighter and my heart lighter. There is no feeling like this, being so close to the grass, the pine, away from men and the restless social climb. I have seen Truth, scattered amongst the rocks on the riverbank. I can sing a song with my hands. Clouds roll in. They cover the land in darkness. An otherworldly fire.

I have always loved the untouchable majesty of thunderstorms.

Yet so much remains to be said. I cannot narrativize my life; I can only reassemble the fragments. So many memories. Cutting little boats out of margarine lids and racing them down the gutter in the sunshine after rain storms. Making things with my hands. Doing cartwheels.

Today, I did a somersault in the grass and rediscovered childhood.

The trees are in bloom, and the English robins are singing the sweet red notes of spring.

I can hear church bells in the darkness, tugging me, whispering, pulling me down into a lost age of vespers and altar controversy. I look up at the sky in search of someone, something, God–and find him rather in the fields on the way to Grantchester.

With summer comes forgetfulness and certain liberties: I don’t plan what to wear, but throw on a tank top and some shorts and splash my face and let my lips and eyes run naked.

Give me some paper and a scrap of time, and I promise you I shall make something of it.


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