Day 1

I’m here. Whatever that means. I have pinned my bed into the far corner of a large bedroom. I have placed it beneath the wide epiphanic windows. From my my pillow I can see the Gasconade flowing magically North.

In the morning I put on a hoodie and winter coat and went for a long walk around the farm. I tiptoed to the edge of the river, hopscotched rocks in the creek, wandered the golden pastures. I followed the fence line to where the cows roamed. I stepped in dung and looked out over the sloping hills. I spoke to the cows, and learned their names. One of the mothers looked at me with big mooning eyes. I think I’m a vegan now.

There are four dogs: Murphy, Miley, Zeus and Aphrodite. I am partial to Zeus. They follow me when I walk, move to my rhythm. I sat down to read in the grass. They scavenged the tree line for rabbits. The sky is nothing special. Big, spongy, and gray. But it hangs over everything. It coats over everything.

So does the moss. In the woods it grows wet and vibrant green. I knelt to inspect. It is cold to the touch. Dewy. Telling stories of the rain. The moss alone brings the forest to life. Some of it lies petrified and bleached on the rocks like dry splattered toothpaste. It blooms and ripples in the shape of seafoam mycelia. It smells of calcium, and time.

I cook my own meals. Fruit and vegetables mostly. Flax seed. Oats and barley. Honey almonds. Blueberries. Bananas. And bran. Whole grain bread. Baby spinach, and cilantro. Breaded tilapia. My stomach doesn’t like the breading. My stomach knows far more about my body than I do. My stomach calls the shots. I’m writing a novel about pie for gosh sake. There’s minerals in the tap water. My stomach likes that. And my teeth. I chew slowly so I can hear the forest in the morning. I am learning the meaning of silence.

Silence. Enough silence to fill a hundred swimming pools and still have enough left over for every library and ashram on the western seaboard. Enough silence to make a mime feel awkward. Enough silence to filter out the white noise. So there is nothing to hear but the dogs barking, the wind moving, and my own thoughts.

I am alone out here and yet still among people. I am still figuring out what it means to have time. I am learning how to be myself. I am free.

And yet hindered by fears of failure and stagnation. What if I’m no good? What if I’m a fraud? A friend once said, all good writers think themselves frauds at some point or another. So maybe it’s a good sign. Either way I intend to spend a great deal of time with myself. It will do my writing some good. It will do my soul some good.

I felt her today. Saw her crystal clear in my mind’s eye. My body flushed with longing. I wrote something private in my journal, something secret. It did not sate my desires. It stoked them like flames in the crackle phase of snap, crackle, and pop. Alone in my studio I mooned over her, over my private words. I danced with their poetry. The Muse does not come easily. She withholds herself, remains coy behind the veil. She had a look on her face, a scowl. But her lips parted just so. I felt her today. And did my best to conjure the vision, to immortalize it on the page. She is still there. In my dreams. In my journal. In my heart. A real cheeseball, I am. But I can’t help it. By no means does it obey my whims or desires. Passions are more like forest fires than fireplaces. One must learn how to cultivate controlled burns. Good thing I’m here to write.

Day 1 has ended as it began. In bed. I’ve got my book on my bedside. A gentle lamp. A whole herd of fluffy pillows. I’ve got water. I’ve got it good even though my stomach aches. I am alive. I’m here. Whatever that means. Out here in the woods. Were it not for nighttime I could see the Gasconade flowing magically North. If I get quiet enough I can hear it.

I can hear it all.


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