Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Water worn

Last night I arrived back at my parents' house in Grosse Pointe, the house I grew up in.  It's a beautiful place, and timeless in the way that houses and towns on water often are.  As I drove in, I saw so many of the familiar things:  the house with the crazy bright Christmas display, the cold waves crashing over the seawall, the bare trees scratching at a gray Michigan sky.  There is a wash of emotions when I come back, but it is all in grayscale, from the white of pure hope to the black of despair.  Michigan is like that, and especially the Detroit area.  The tearing-down is real, while the rebuilding is too often a promise.

I'm starting to think about the year I have had; the many places I have been.  Sometimes in the past it has felt like being a flat gray skipping stone, bouncing off the water to the next wave, but this year the cuts into the water have been deeper.  

As a kid, I loved skipping stones, though I never was very good at it.  I loved the made-up science of it, choosing the right rock and trajectory according to arbitrary and baseless formulas that eventually molded to the truth of experience.  In my mind, I was the stone, trying to get as far as I could.  But the part I loved was the end, when my stone might topple end-over-end, pause a moment on the surface and then surrender to the water, to what is real.  It would stop its dancing and dive deep and fast into something new yet familiar-- after all, the stone had been worn smooth by that very water.  I kept watching where it had been, a thin, shivering boy on the shore.  Then, too, I was the stone.  

I see where all the poetry has gone to your mind and from your fingertips. This is writing which will not let me remain as I was. Bravo and bless you.
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