“Look look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs”


If a small band of you come together to see what Camus might mean when he said, a person’s life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art, or love, or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened, you will begin to talk of epiphanies, like when you lived in Pakistan, and at four years old saw a curtain of stars rise behind the Himalayas, and even then knew that how ever long you lived you would never have a way of talking about feeling that loved, or when as a young woman, you approached a cliff edge and began to dance a new version of yourself and all the religion you were taught fell behind, and someone might describe how one evening, tempted by frog-song, like sirens, impossibly alluring to early ears, she climbed out the window of her bedroom and ran through the field to the creek, and maybe someone would recall Merton, in Louisville, on the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, sprung for a day from his cell, suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that he loved all those people, and how the destiny of being human came radiating, and how he ached to find a way to tell them that they were all walking around shining like the sun, and someone might talk of books and the way they take you sailing and bring you back weathered and rich with sightings, or the time a daughter was brought into the world, and after the pain, a new pain came, and settled-sweet into your crying and laughing arms, and how you would hold her forever, or maybe someone would talk of the first time they heard The Band sing The Weight, and how you cranked it way past the tolerance of Chevy speakers, or someone might think to describe how after an orgasm, rays of light strummed on bodies and released you both into laughter, and then memories would come sparking and shimmering of walking by rivers, of sitting on petalled patios, of music moving uphill, of running at the break of day, of driving at dusk in summer cities, of an evening, when, beside an uncommonly calm sea, you and four others climbed inside a broken gazebo, washed up years ago, and you sat in a circle smiling—hours with no words passing—only the convection of being entirely untroubled, and at the close of the evening one might look across the room out the window and suddenly say, “Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs!”



  1. … early morning sentinel Canada goose guarding developing life beneath his mate with the reflections in the morning water and catching a vision of the gift, the miracle of evolving life at this very moment – amen.

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