Aug 172011

There is something annoying in all this itching for significance, these ploys for adoring the solid land, our maybe ways of chugging along in our camping togs peering for God in the underbrush. Better to abide in our belittlement, to contend with contentedness for a season and feel throughout our straining frames the smaller, lingering sensations of relaxation, the shade refreshing rather than mysterious, the lake water simply lapping, lapping, rather than emanating a resonant, mystic Om. Dip your toes in the pool until the minnows nibble, socks rolled off and cast behind you. Shadows sway over the pine-dark waters of the Merced River, the pebbly rocks chromed in silt moss, the river wave moving. Moving, however sedately still we sit and contemplate it, the river moves. Dry needles pinch into my palms as I lean far back. The sunlight grows slowly colder, and a bright crescent of desire defines the curve of my belly, a red scimitar of hunger.

We had almost arrived at the exit from Yosemite, upward and outward, when we pulled over here, grinding to a halt in the rough dust and descanting the vitamin water. Something about the weighty tree trunks, the picnic tables composed of shadows like grade school cut-outs, and the call of the Merced’s waters from beyond the circle of the eye had us stop and break open the car’s purple beetle-shell.

My shoes lay behind me on a patch of dry moss, socks crossed softly over them. They’re too far to trouble with now as the flowing cold reaches my knees and my eyelids lower to show only two sleepy chinks of tired eyes. The world is waving past me, its green-brown waters frothing at my calves, and at the muscled roots of the trees surrounding me that go down to the current curl by curl. Midges, flocks of dots, still stipple into gold-dust when they catch a sunshaft. But now my eyes are closing, and the stars are revealed to me, sparring sharpnesses against the universal dark blue of a policeman’s uniform–their star-badges so distant and dim their laws feel less like laws and more like the joke suggestions lovers whisper to each other, things lazily proposed more to dream about than to do…

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