(Listen as you read for a fuller experience.)
He craned his long, white neck around the trunk of a tree. His wiry fingers curled around a branch and held him as he leaned forward, sniffing the air for any lingering of her perfume. Nothing.
His lips narrowed in frustration as he peered as far as he could into the darkness in all directions. Even with his keen sight, all he could see were the twisting branches and fallen leaves intertwining with the cold mist.
After a long moment standing still and hearing nothing, he softly crept forward, winding his way through the tall, leaf-less trees, stopping here and there to again sniff, peer, and listen. Time and energy were no barriers to him. He would find her.
She wound her way through the tall, leaf-less trees, stopping here and there to unstick her long coat from the rocks and twigs that tore at the fabric as she walked steadily through the forest. She had left before sunrise and had reached the forest before any light could show her leaving. It was now hours since then, and she welcomed the covering darkness of the dense forest.
She was hungry and thirsty and tired, but she had no thought of stopping, not yet. She had managed to bring one small bag of stolen food and water. If all went well, it would be enough, but she couldn’t use up what she had too soon. She would find him, kill him, and then she would have no more need, but it might still be some time before she did. He was clever and old, and he had done this many times. She was clever too, but she did not have his experience, and, she admitted to herself, probably lacked his patience. She had to be careful.
(Listen for a fuller experience.)
We sit and stand and live and wait, as though Godot really would appear at any moment.
Who says he won’t?
That girl says he will. That guy says he won’t. Those people over there swear he’s already come.
All we know is that we’re here.
Summer stretching on the grass
Summer dresses pass
In the shade of a willow tree
Creeps a-crawling over me
Over me and over you
Stuck together with God’s glue
It’s gonna get stickier too.
It’s been a long hot summer
Let’s get under cover
Don’t try too hard to think
Don’t think at all.
We sit baking on the curb along the road they said he would pass by. “No one knows when,” they told us. “But he’ll come. Just you wait and see.”
So we nod our heads, settle in, and wait around to see.
One of my closest friends is going through a really great time in his life. More than great, it’s seminal for his life being just what he wants it to be in the very near future. As he’s shared with me the steps he’s worked so hard to take that are leading him to the future he wants and will soon have, I’ve been thinking about what my own life being just what I want it to be would look like.
I know I want to someday make my living as a writer. I know I want to someday find someone I love who loves me back. These are fine, perfectly normal goals. The second one is virtually universal. The first one may not be as common (and will require millions of words more to accomplish), but neither are impossible nor out of the ordinary. If 10 years from now I am a professional writer in a healthy, long-term relationship, no one will stop and stare in wonder.
These are my two goals when I am well and stable. This is what I want for my life when my thinking is clear, my mind is healthy, and my view of reality is un-skewed. This is good because it means there are attainable desires I’ve pinpointed that I can work and hope for. What’s not so good is that my thinking many times isn’t clear, my mind isn’t always healthy, and my view of reality often is skewed, as though I’m looking through a sheet of cracked glass. These two goals I have – writing and love – are my goals only when I am well, and that hasn’t usually been the norm.