When I was two-years-old I often told my parents, “I’m so glad I chose you.” Under Ithaca air, Grateful Dead music and lilac blossoms. When I was three-years-old I almost fell over a waterfall on my tricycle, but didn’t – I survived. I made towers out of toy blocks – artist, architect of worlds with no rules. I found words later. I laughed when I was scared. Always had scrapes on my knees – toothpick legs. Tree climber. I was told I was smart, but bad at math. I could beat the boys at recess races. I laughed when I was scared. Read A Wrinkle in Time. Tesseract. Time travel. I wanted to find the worlds I made with toy blocks. Bought three books on the universe. I hiked mountains with my father. Adirondacks. Loon calls. Late night canoes on lakes. I laughed when I was scared. My friends and I made a woodland metropolis out of roots and broken branches.
In sixth grade John asked me, “If I died, would you cry for me?” Sitting on blue bus seats, big backpacks, country music in the background. “Well, yes.” I said. Light fleeting outside my window. “Well,” he said, “If you cry when someone dies, that means you love them.” High school, hair straightener, straight ‘A’s. Drugs. Beauty. Booze. Books. Brand name clothing. I found words for what I could not. Forgot John. Remembered at the funeral, later on. The phrase om mani padme hum.
Om mani padme hum. A lotus blooms from shit. Remembering lilac blossoms. New Orleans night club. Weathered hands and fixing homes. Builder. Writer. Lost Things Finder. Academia and assessments. Yearning for. Swamp tromps and tree leaves. Unfamiliar conversations and car horns, wildflowers in cobble stone cracks. Love heavy like old blankets. Picture frames hung haphazardly from walls – imperfect stories. Waterfalls where I survived.