Portrait of a man in blue, June 24, 2019

It grows dark after dinner, the hour of seven, bellies full of sweet and spicy, buoyed by rice and the overwhelming content of conversation which has dominated the table. We sit in the shadows of the First Draft Pub, watching the wind twist through the palms in rabid expectation of the coming monsoon. It has been twilight for hours, the clarity of golden hour prolonged unto three, so that the encroaching darkness of night seems sudden and unruly. In spite of the day overfull of words I find myself returning to the desk, fingers poised above the keys, a litany of music in my head which must come bubbling out least it rock my insides like an unfurled punch. It is strange. I have worked and danced and proclaimed my thoughts upon the stage of life and yet in my exhaustion I am not tired of the written word. Something inspired has blossomed in my chest, returned from buried coves of the cockles of my heart. A healing? Perhaps. Or rather more, an embrace of something truer still than my own self. Even when I can write no more I draw, sketching with skills laid dormant for so long I forgot that I ever knew how. Was trained how. Yes. That’s right. Years and years I was trained to listen and see and observe and to spit my observations on the page to clarify the truth of what I have seen. But I lacked confidence in this, broken of trust by a life which offered challenge in exchange for love. No action is done that is uncalled for, even if the calling is unheard by deaf ears which would rather engage in a blank slate than the colors swirling about them. If only I understood how to reach them, to open their eyes to them own selves the way I have opened my eyes to mine. It was love, of course, that brought me back from the endless sea of grief and rocky barren shores of taunting doubt and self declaiment. Even as the tree of life reached out through sharp grass and spiky cactus, burning and cutting, I knew within, somehow, somewhere deep in me, that those barren shores were still connected to something soft and caring and ancestral. Those ragging plants reminded me I was not alone, and following their roots led across frigged white caps to shore and back into the waiting arms of all that was my birthright. It is not a well worn path I walk under the waning moon. It is rare and fine and unique and dangerous and for all that, leads with expediency right to the base of the mighty tree which connects and binds all the heavens and all the earth and all that is below. I have touched it, that tree. I was laid in its branches as a babe, and again nestled in its roots when home felt far away. I stand beside it now and trace the story of its life with my fingertips upon its bark. The blood that was laid there eons before still courses through my veins. As I look up I see its branches reflected in the pools of water below, tiny flowers floating like stars, bright fires in the night. The song of the wind through its leaves escapes my lips long before I’ve realized I’m singing, calling home to me, to us, all that was and all that once will be. I remember, and know my place in those notes. I will write them as I wrote the eulogy of time, and I will smoke the paper with those words, blowing rings into the void until it winks, and we laugh together once again. You can hear it in the bells. You can see it in the rising sun. It is remembered in the tears of laughter of the deeply curious. I am curious. I burn with a curiosity so encompassing that no map can guide my journey straight and true. For all of this, I love. For all of this I will do what I can to help steady the guiding moon, so that wayward travelers, near and far, can find their way home, back to the tree of life.

-My heart