Oh, I’ve been beneath what I know. Like MacFarlane in his Underland, pushing through tight corners and passages to get to deep cathedrals and even deeper private chapels. False trails, loops, switchbacks, new openings, waterfalls – mucking about in places where there’s only sound, touch and intuition available to find a way forward.
I wouldn’t call it grief, really; more like a slow, steady remembering of things long buried.
By gut-feeling I’ve been hunting what has terrified me all my life. Also what draws me, still. I find clues written in the old caves by a younger self to find and interpret later, when I might understand more.
Later is now: What is love?
This playful, violent lake serves up whole trees, two days running. For drying, so I can carve them up and use them for firewood in the fall. She beats the shoreline stones relentlessly, looking for large rocks to claim back. I haul these higher and away, to preserve a memory for my young nephew who made a sitting place with them years ago. In case he comes back to meet himself.
I fix a screen on the bothy, decide to leave another for now. The raccoon ripped a hole too large for quick mending, and I’ll be back next week.
The early morning water is perfectly clear and still, I slide myself in. Is it about boundaries, I wonder. Transgression, risk, vulnerability. Consent sought, assumed or not even considered. No tools or training to express or know or resist. How many of us balance precariously on the wobbly, three-cornered stool of trust, while gravity shifts beneath?
Fearful reaction or gentle response. Weapons raised or never lifted, eyes soft or hard, a touch attempted across the great divide. Truth spoken like a great bell, or a loon’s call, truth like the rain after a heat wave. Sometimes in the dark, waiting for an answer. For an answer. An answer.
Then not waiting. Moving forward, instead.
I come up for air and light with treasures in my pockets, gathered from the dark with my fingers. From beneath what I know, they teach me about larger things I can still only partly see.
They reconfirm other things. My love needs to move, to breathe. It cannot be secret, hidden, unspoken, unshared. The love I choose is stronger than constraint – love like Art that moves through language and sound, colour and collaboration. Heart to connected heart, with no claim or entitlement.
Love like a gift that cannot be taken, only received, and only in the form it is given.