We drove up the hill a bit faster in the older kid’s car as he passed around smoke that took us to the not-know as in do-not-know-what-to-expect – pressed tight with new friends piled arm on arm, hip on hip, front and back seat on a black ribbon pass that split into hills stacked up at the top of our town - banking left then right, making up jokes that matched the motion.
He pulled off the road and skidded in dust until we stopped and hopped out following him where he led us through this run-off tube that cut about 30 feet through the side of a hill, popping out on the shaded side into a river bed long before chopped off when they cut this highway between these old brown-black mountains.
We stood in the dry river sand and I could see how the dryness made things stretch here as they waited for water that might blast through once a year if even, and it was here that we stood in a circle letting it come on and looking back and forth across the distance at faces, young like ours, looking back, letting go enough to start a journey that this kind of freedom provides – we were blessed.
I never said thank you but I know a gift now and can remember the sequence like a brain carving: coming down from the hill with my hand out the window picking up the wind like a wing that came into my body and blew back the hair on my arm – the same arm that slipped under the short white sleeve of my t-shirt and flew with living light over and under the granite, sage, and blue that popped among the dwindling hills.
We wound down black paved road, traveling maybe 10 or 15 per, six or more of us in this small car, side by side and the word I heard was peace as in the peace that precedes an explosion or that comes just before fusion – a kind of edge, empty as in the present- paused as in vignette – we could have dissolved into a full crotched approach of bruises and kisses with mouths wide open.
I could see in my mind the lightening of naked-on-naked and hear bending waves that twisted our tongues as we spun out speaking in erratic non-sequitors of the surprise of the present, the discovery in eye-contact jumbled with some long-off kenning telling us we are not new, that we do not survive (no one does)– that all of these awakenings would roll into a sunrise that would, unflinching, come.
February 11, 2010