A couple of weeks ago, my son and I stopped in the middle of a trail to admire and wonder at a twisted Aspen tree that was rather pretzel-like at about 10 feet up the trunk. Another hiker noticed our noticing of the tree and commented that it was “Redecorating by Avalanche.” It appears that the weight and force of the snow cause the trees to bend and nearly break during the winter months, but then the drive to keep growing in the spring is so great that the young trees continue to do so, often changing directions from their downward or sideward leanings and back toward their natural and upward growth pattern. The results can be crazy…. I wonder how this might be a metaphor for us and our lives, not succumbing to the pressures and challenges of life, but being touched by them, changed even, and maybe drastically, but still enduring in our drive to live, to experience what comes our way…and pressing-on, regardless, on the journey that is our life.
I guess the theme is natural white…the color we find in the elegantly contrasting clouds against the rich blue sky, the massive mountains of White, or “Temple” Granite that were the birthplace for the boulders that were used to build the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, and the crush of water that is flying and thundering down the Little Cottonwood Canyon Stream…all beautifully brilliant and alluring….
What is that sound, that scratching, that tapping away, that scraping and prying I heard along the way. I passed down the hallway, around the corner and into my room; I heard a shuffling, a movement, and a something-is-there kind of sound. What is that gnawing, that board coming loose, that crack of a something being pressed against and pushed into, forced to be somewhere it wasn’t, and then. I saw the doorknob turning, heard the pin and tumbler move aside, the light from the window caught on the bronze and tarnish and sought my eye, that twinkle where a twinkle wasn’t just a moment before. What caused that thing, that coming to, that vapor from a floorboard, and that mist between the hinges, what could it be…that tiny kind of burning when I started to pee?
A telephone call from a stranger’s place, an office with signs and slogans on the wall, pamphlets in display cases, numbered tickets on the floor, a welcoming eye and a wavering smile, those things greeted me and disturbed my peace, different words from that stranger’s place on that cloudy afternoon. I took the elevator to the second floor and could have sworn there were rats in the walls. The cabin loomed with its scratching sound, that scrape and tear at the insides from something there….
The nurse was gentle, she was not unkind, even with the purple gloves that lifted the boys and pulled back the hood…but there’s no amount of peace or distraction that can help one not notice a swab being stuck into Mister Johnson and slowly turned and dragged along that tender opening in the effort to collect some kind of hiding or tucked away cells from their resting place within the membranes’ coating…it’s gonna hurt, plain and simple…probably…unless you’re one of those guys who like that kinda pain…with the rings and piercings and, well you know what I mean. Anyway…it would have been so much easier if I had just waited to pee…no scraping and grinding and….
…and what are you, I said to that thing? “I am the thing that you thought you’d hidden away, that secret, that something that was lost even to your memory. I’m that laboratory finding, the antibodies’ keys, the hooks and pins, and whatnots, and the swirls of helices in your pee, the elemental bodies in your babies’ eyes, the cysts in your belly and the rash between your thighs. I’m the dysplastic cells in your girlfriend’s womb that means your cauliflower garden is about to bloom. I am that drip, that burn, that strain, that clap, that chancre and rash, those blisters and bumps on your secret place and places and that goopy something leaking from your nether region…I’m the substance of things you never hoped for and the evidence of things you can’t see…I’m that disease you caught in your stolen or random intimacies, your rendezvous-es, and your closing-time hook-ups…. I didn’t come from a toilet seat or a hot-tub or a door-handle or a soiled seat in a locker-room…you got me, you caught me, and you catched me, too, when you got down and dirty, doing the nasty, plowing furred furrows and other kinds of things…and now here I am…the skeleton in your closet…come knockin’ again….
I visited Provo Falls and Bridal Veil Falls last October…several months after the crush of water from the snow melt and before the cold of winter set in…and we visited the sites again today…in the middle of the snow melt season. It’s incredible what eight months’ difference in time can mean in the amount of water passing through the same places…enjoy….
Provo Falls showcase waterfall October 16, 2010…
And now that same waterfall on July 10, 2011…
Bridal Veil Falls on October 16, 2010….
And now those same magnificent falls on July 10, 2011….
Two circuits of the moon, give or take, and the giants are awake…the guardians of that city’s central park are no longer stuck in their winter slumber, but are alert and watching, steadfast sentinels on guard…no longer skeletons bare with trunks and arms akimbo, they are clothed in spring-time finery and seem to perform a ballet in the blue and noon-time sky….
You can visit the earlier post and see the winter-bare trees by clicking on the words “To Walk with Giants and Geese.”
Beautiful canopy of Cottonwoods covering the central walkway of Liberty Park in downtown Salt Lake City.
He/she almost has a quizzical look…. “Have I seen you before?”