Being 6 and crawling on my hands and knees underneath feet of this cold womb from the sky, it wasn’t unexpected to embed myself in this white lining from Heaven’s uterus and fall asleep, so quiet the world became down there, my father had to use his angry yell for me to hear him from my little living quarters I’d dug bigger than my own bedroom where the plows had pushed 40 feet of the stuff over the mailbox.
The rule was if you could see the houses from the road it was a weak snowfall, and if you missed nearly two weeks of school to called days then the earth was being normal, almost as normal as the way this childhood memory of snow is giving way to that spot of blood and white fur I once saw out at Bear Brook where my father liked to take us in winter.
Dawning more fur than a fox around my first grade head and face, and crouching by the blood of a fresh kill, I became something wild and predatory out there in my version of the Yukon. Before anything, I wanted to run and hunt and eat and hide with the wild ones under the earth and snow like a season moves. I wanted to be a kind of purpose that even in death could evade death, could begin again. And I think, in my own way I did a pretty good job of that.
Though now perhaps a little more anti-social, I still live for cycles of change and rebirth, still hunker down below the floor of suffering where it’s quiet during times of enduring extreme insensitivities, noise and pain, and allow myself to fall asleep and feel a kind of education I know I won’t often find up there in the more ambitious, more slam-bang linear world we all must learn to walk in.
This avoidance I’d check off as laziness if it weren’t for the fact that I know what will follow it will be a renewed sense of the inner life where I can come out of my coping skills before the rest of the world wakes, and hunt for tracks made by poetry across the cold surface of my psyche I know will, as with any halfway useful psychoanalysis, continue to lead me back to me, continue to wound me, but in a good way.
It’s how I know that my real service isn’t poetry or the special education job I need and use as vehicles to help me plow through to what I mostly am and need to do, which is to continue to track myself down, open my own heart, and carry what I once was back to whatever has become a kind of home to me.