Aug 172011

Perhaps I’ll force myself through to some conclusion. I want words to fall softly on my ear, a pelting of crumbled dusts. I push myself through heavy underbrush and bracken, a svelte companion before me, at the hot park near Pt. Reyes. Light filters through like a stranger at the door: tentative, prepared to flee at the first impatient glance from the host. These woods are heavy and strange to me, a tumble of clumps and harshly angled trunks blocking-out the sumptuous sun. The path goes always upward, more toil than revelation. My guide keeps some secret in her back pocket, and I am drawn onward. The filtered light and the humidity induce a dream-state in the unwary walker, a state where hunch and intuition gather momentum. One feels as if he were moving slowly through a “zone of knowing,” where the next overturned rock or aerial of caressed fern will tell one the answer to all the “whys” the traveler has carried with him in his fat backpack. A few native birds trill out of sight, an indecipherable narrative offered fleetingly to the blind. As lost as I feel, my feet seem to know that this small mountain, this ramp of rock, is lifting me higher nevertheless… that some progress, or at least progression, is occurring as my boots lose traction and my vision smears. Here in the woods’ dreamlike semi-dark every structure is fabricated of life, is living and vivid, and presses forth like some subconscious welt to break through at the back of the eyes. There’s an immanence here on the underside of sunshine as the purple briars, bright as a wrestler’s neck-veins, inscribe hieroglyphs along my exposed forearms. We stop to examine the festive destruction of a long, rotting log consumed by live beings: a wildfire of worms white as angels and the horned faces of rainbow-backed beetles. A whole hive of hatchets is at work here. We drop with a grunt to sit in the dirt, in the deep shade, trying to look outward from what must be a high vantage point, and we each gulp a globe of water as warm as sweat.

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