Jim Mieklejohn and his wife Jen come and walk the trail with me and then do an archery lesson afterward every week. It has turned into a special time for us. Jim took these shots today, Winter on Phil’s Camino.
Jen and Felipé along the trail, winter light.
Maple leaves in the frost.
Danna Schmidt gave me this poem and it is the one that shanghaied me yesterday AM. It is about coming home from an experience that has left us shaken and maybe we are not aware yet but we are a different person altogether, alperfect once again.
THE RETURN, by Geneen Marie Haugen
Some day, if you are lucky,
you’ll return from a thunderous journey
trailing snake scales, wing fragments
and the musk of Earth and moon.
Eyes will examine you for signs
of damage, or change
and you, too, will wonder
if your skin shows traces
of fur, or leaves,
if thrushes have built a nest
of your hair, if Andromeda
burns from your eyes.
Do not be surprised by prickly questions
from those who barely inhabit
their own fleeting lives, who barely taste
their own possibility, who barely dream.
If your hands are empty, treasureless,
if your toes have not grown claws,
if your obedient voice has not
become a wild cry, a howl,
you will reassure them. We warned you,
they might declare, there is nothing else,
no point, no meaning, no mystery at all,
just this frantic waiting to die.
And yet, they tremble, mute,
afraid you’ve returned without sweet
elixir for unspeakable thirst, without
a fluent dance or holy language
to teach them, without a compass
bearing to a forgotten border where
no one crosses without weeping
for the terrible beauty of galaxies
and granite and bone. They tremble,
hoping your lips hold a secret,
that the song your body now sings
will redeem them, yet they fear
your secret is dangerous, shattering,
and once it flies from your astonished
mouth, they–like you–must disintegrate
before unfolding tremulous wings.
We have done a lot of work on the reentry process over the last four plus years. This poem just sort of says it all. Thanks
Danna, I owe you one.
later loves, Felipé.