What's been smoldering rose to the surface. It flamed up, but only for a short time. And even though there will be ashes and coals, most of the heat has gone.
I ran what I could out of my system by pulling Little Man around the neighborhood in his wagon. We stopped in front of houses with yards filled with Halloween decorations. Talked about monsters and ghosts. Headstones and cobwebs. Continued on like this for an hour. House to house. With one stop at the park. Then back home. For lunch. A story. A nap.
I gave it another shot a little while ago. Running on the treadmill. Two miles in one place. Staring at the wall of the garage. Now, since the walking and running have taken care of most of it, and Little Man is still tucked away in sleep, I will write the rest of it away.
It's too nice of a day and I'm too fortunate to have this life to get into any tangles. Not with memories. Not with the unknown. Not with anything that's already been said and done. All we have today are fresh feet, fresh fingers, and the perpetual desire to succeed.
As a Dad and husband.
The writer can wait.
Maybe it's just the change of season. The beauty and brutality of a winter that's on its way. Knowing that the big clock is always out there. Ticking off our time. Dwindling our days. And there's not a damn thing I can do about it. Just wake. Do my best. And hope for rest. Yes, there is plenty more. And the important stuff is in all that's passing, but this writing mind has never worked like that and I'm doubtful it ever will. Nothing any good has come out of only good and so that's where my writing thrives.
In anger. Frustration. Selfishness. And loss. In that dark hollow space that rises up late at night and leads me down the hallway. Into empty rooms. Under bright lights. To pull aside the blinds and see a sleeping world all around.
One day, I guess, I'll rest. Maybe in the cemetery. Back home on The Ridge. Or maybe in a place yet to be found. And then, the fight will be gone. All that will remain is the energy I've left. In the cottonwood, the maples, the steeple, the ground. And all of what I've done will continue without me.
In the way S.B. ages with beauty and paints from dreams. Aware of the possibility in falling leaves, crackling fires, the sleeping earth underfoot. All of the small things part of the whole. Meaning, as always, unwavering and true in the shapes and forms that color her world.
In the way Little Man wakes and walks. Moves through this world. Another man, like all men, smoldering beneath the surface. Flaming up. But only rarely and only for a short time. He will know the meaning of ashes and coals. Of pulling a wagon on a windy autumn day. And he will know the importance of keeping feet and fingers fresh. So that he is always prepared. For the silence and patience needed for fighting the toughest tangles and taming the darkest hollow space.
And in all, that's all we can hope for. That even when we aren't our best, when we are quietly shaking apart at the seams, we put a little good into the world. Even if it springs from bad.
(copyright © 2008 by K.J. Stevens)