Early mornings with café con leche in the Poetry Garden with an assortment of titled notebooks and markers and pens. (Some are permanent. Some with blur in the rain when I forget to fetch them before sudden rainstorm.) Before the heat. Before others awake.

It is a sacred space like the rapids and the shore at high tide—where I feel at home again–after dark passageways, hours, through Lethe on a small, dilapidated wooden boat (built generations back)—searching for Alethia–in the storm of knowing things.

I find her hovering over the darkest waters in the pummeling rain–and grasp at her—clinging to her robes of satin light—knowing again–she will recede–when I turn my back to look at something frightening in the outer world or within. (The dying, colossal tree on my property that fell in the most recent torrential downpour and wind (that we cannot see, only its wake)—into the branches of the living tree next to it. A welcome distraction–and unfortunately, a metaphor.

Until I remembered the cost, the bank account, the worry of cutting back the brush for the workers to get at it (take it down gently) amidst the vines that climb and amazingly, can choke out a tree—amidst the poison oak, sumac, and/or ivy. (My doctor assures me that it doesn’t matter which—since the poisons are all treated the same—but for me, will take many months to desist)).

So I write this down to remember—the mornings of clarity and subsequent hope—that we all find her (Alethia)–and rediscover our love affair with the unfurling magenta of phlox next to the cascading chartreuse potato vine, the series of sky paintings, and ancient waters flowing with gravitational pull in a cycle that somehow keeps going, does not end. And find ourselves–what we have chosen to become in the labyrinth of what has been chosen for us, mapped by DNA, some Creator perhaps—a chess game with other forces—and the language we use to transcribe it, become. (Death, you are not winning yet. (Though you lurk in the wings for all.).)

I dreamed of my father in the earliest hours of morning. He was in a car crash. When I finally reached him. He explained that he was tired—and I said—Daddy, I know.

So I write this down. This early morning I think about the car crash months ago–and all that was exposed—that young doctor’s collapsed face after the MRI of the cervical spine. (O Oedipus, too bad you didn’t know.)—and set out to paint the satin light, the lighthouse green beacon—that says–Though you are exhausted by storm, it is safe somewhere up ahead.

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