I notice I am writing a book (again), but this time, before it presents itself as a whole thing, appearing to arise out of nothing into a solid object, it will find shape here. Wafting in on the morning air, tapping itself out in a Morse code of neural impulses inside the afternoon haze, beneath the cawing of the crows and witnessed by the patient eye of the lizard outside my sliding glass door that seems always willing to open itself to the elements, beckoning them into my awareness and the shelter I share enmeshed with these elements that are no less me than my own skin. When the season shifts, I will harvest these symbols like a bushel of wheat.


When I am newly alone I am most in tune. Most aware. Most bloomed. Most whole. Most real. The chirping of an unseen beak, lungs, small feathered body reaches my ear, my electrical system, my known world, merging this perceptual “me” with the wholed sensuality of pine needles and burrows, shade, fur and bark. While I dally in the code of the spoken word, of man’s created reality, in this reality the now invisible one in which I notice fine dust swirling around my ankles and the communication of other animals goes on without me; I miss it. Straining my attention to be more places at once than possible, the earth communication becomes faint. Analog becomes digitized and definitionally incomplete. I miss soil communications, sky whispers and avian discourse that is closer to my soul. This seems important. Vital even.

Not-alone is a car wheel with its grimy hubcab spinning, rotating so rapidly I cannot but for brief moments catch its shining details. Alone I step out of the car, breathe the air into the lungs evolved with this air, with the leaves I can now gratefully distinguish as I leave the road. Now I can see the wheel. All of it. Slow down.

I don’t care for this pace of the car. It’s the pace of c’mon, of hurry past, of disaster. It’s the pace of missing the language of the ground we walk on. What kind of a life is this, built on this pace, in this car, on this screen, where we’ve forgotten the trees breathe our air and we theirs, that apples sustain us—these apples that grow in the sunlight from this tree…my body asks for, craves, in fact, thrives on, nothing more than what the sunlight and the earth offer. I am, footfall by footfall, leaving the not-world of Target, of iPhones and ideas. I will plunge my hand into it, close my eyes and ears and disappear here and there. But for the most part, the important part, as I say goodbye, there is nothing to bid farewell—a wasteland of inattention and swirling data fragments, snapshots, only thoughts briefly made digital. Unreal. Even as I type, it is only an impression of a noticing.

So this morning I greet the crow, the palm, the mint, the cool air on my arms and legs. I breathe in the opening light of the day, sit by my friend the tree, who is part of my body, rising up to my balcony, ever present. The chirping crickets and I take our place among the other animals as we merge with the day. New. Breathing.