I went for a walk in the woods yesterday; my first since it stopped snowing. I can be kind of an idiot – caught up in not-starting and then when finally the meniscus breaks and action inevitably spills over, I think: “WHAT was I waiting for?” While walking in the woods is pleasurable, it was also necessary, and so it happened.
It’s not that I took the Boston Marathon bombings any more personally than any other horrid event I’ve had pass by my from-a-distance perception – and not that I took it less personally. The image of the man in shock in the wheel chair, his legs sharply absent, his artery being held closed by one who had lost a son to war and another to suicide, insisted on staying in my mind. Disturbingly. I’m not sure I think it can be made sense of, but I found myself walking (and aware of walking, on legs and feet) uphill, and down, looking for narrative, for meaning.
Funny, this world – it’s full of Story in its own way, but not necessarily narrative when you expect it. Not necessarily even Lessons or pointers toward Meaning. I started out simply annoyed by what looked cliche and obvious. It’s spring. Life is pushing its way out of the ground, from under layers of dead and decaying leaves. You know this, right? That’s what we’re told the world is showing – that out of death comes life. Yeah, there it was and I was annoyed by it, by the impersonality of it. By the fact that the trees and plants don’t seem mind.
The tall trees are still bare in most cases and saplings still rusk and clatter with dried, dead, bleached leaves that haven’t been let go. But soon enough they’ll all flush and soften and live again. In and out, live and die. They know it just comes and goes – or they don’t know, they just are the coming and going, even until their lives themselves go from the coming and return from the going.
I don’t know. I tried too, to not look for metaphor. I just walked and remembered what I’d felt a few months ago, that that which fits me absolutely, like my own skin, is my stride. How easily that can be taken from someone.
Wandering with only a vague sense of the direction I wanted to head, I traveled mostly south and a little west. I’d thought, originally, to head for a more southern point of town and catch a bus back to the center then back home. But the closer I got to town and people, the less I wanted to do that so I headed east and away and came upon an old tower. Two Euros and 170 steps later I stood at the top and looked at the view toward home below the rise.
The wind gusted coldly and briefly my thoughts flew outward before settling again in my mind and following the track back home with my steps.
No narrative, no metaphor, just journey outward and back, looking as I go.