Where the earth meets the sky, someone’s innocence was leaving.
Meanwhile, Jonathan was visiting Uncle Wee Wee, a splendid gawk, a tall
container of clumsy generosity. A kind of cowboy, if you must know, an honest to
goodness relic with an old-fashioned heart of gold. He’d give away his own horse if he
thought you needed it. Some folks called him a Sally Boy. Some folks said he was a nail
without a board. Some folks said he was secretly married to Christ. Was his real name
“Razor” or “Buck” or “Duke” or “Fifi?” Jonathan brought him pears from the neighbor’s
orchard. Jonathan was excited.
Oh Jonathan, don’t you know? This is a place where an irritating squeak climbs up
your flabby ass every time you get sedentary. We believe someone’s in charge here, but
we don’t know who it is. And yes, even agony is planned, but not by God. Jonathan, my
little man, what have you done with the future?
But Jonathan, let’s visit the cellar. Let’s empty the contents in the courtyard. For
some, there’s no rejection longer than a clean white light. We can go beneath. We can
come back from there.
The rain was hiding in the rocks that day and Uncle Wee Wee’s horse didn’t seem
to mind the tremendous weight of the darkness we were hauling.
One arrives at such a cathedral by emptying the cellar. We had the tools and we
had the stamina. We had an obsession. Wasn’t there anyone else equally underestimated
Eventually the sky came down to visit our desperation. We hadn’t set out to leave
the world behind, but now we wanted to. Badly. We couldn’t see straight we were so
stuffed with newfound escapism.
Buck’s horse was tiring fast and there was no end to the darkness. Jonathan was
eating pears and Jonathan was ripe. Jonathan was getting soft.
Then the light melted. The wind was no longer singing and the pile of darkness in
the courtyard was slipping away into the welcoming night. We all sat there by the horse
and gave each other glum looks.
But our desperation was not finished with us. It handed out assignments and
reviewed our progress dispassionately. We fed it the remaining shadows and assuaged its
Some of the darkness had stuck to the tree in the courtyard and when we looked
closer, we found holes in the bark where little wet pockets of baby darkness were resting.
Our work had not been wasted and if it weren’t for the drought, we would have been
dancing in the fountain, covered with it.
But it was getting harder to tell the real darkness from the night’s shadow and I
heard a voice say, “Trust the man who seeks the truth; doubt the man who has found it.”
It was my voice. Something like morning had happened, but the sleep had been
filled only with something physical. I was waiting for the earth to part from the sky. I
wanted to know what it would be like to dream again.
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.