Hawk Eye. Gazelle Legs.

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There was a specific day this weekend that everything made sense, and it was a fleeting moment of clarity that came and went by just a little too fast like the moment when you see the sun glimmer off the wings of a hawk flying swiftly on the wind and you wished it would come back but now it’s gone. 

That’s why we have memory. 

I used to have these moments of clarity all the time. They stayed. Those hawks stayed on an eternal wall of wind right in front of my face. The only people there to tell me otherwise were the vortices of cheatgrass whispering in the breeze. The only thing that blinded my sight was dust and my own long, brown hair tangling and running away from my runaway caboose of a mind. No one understands how these hours pass. 

This is solitude, the opening to a sojourning prayer. Meditation. 

::::::::::

Saturday I ran nine miles up into the mountains on a dirt road and single track trail. I lost a bracelet on the way up. It was windy…warranting a capilene but hot enough to warrant a hand bottle. I reached the top of the ridge, tiptoeing on spines of rock and looking out over the town. Thinking of nothing. This space, close to heavens, barely grounded, is where I like to be. I can vaguely see my red cow gate from here, and, to my joy, no one is near it. These places are sacred. This is communion with whatever is holy. I go to places where no one has been likely to take the effort and the time to go. And when I get there, I laugh, cry, talk, or simply keep running. 

But just briefly, and even in accidentally losing the attachment of the worldly on the way up, I could talk to God (whoever it is). The only one who belongs up there is me and things I made. And I remember every word that was said to me. I wrote them down and I’ve gone through them in my mind nonstop since I left. 

There’s a rugged wind and heat that will rip you to shreds if you stay out long enough. I plan on being freckled and windburned and leathery when I get older. I plan on being small and strong and sinewy and gazelle-like because in doing so I am able to access the places that make me think…the places that give me the strength to stand up for myself. 

One of the only things I really believe myself to be good at in mind, body, and spirit is running up mountains for hours. Letting the wind whip my face. Letting the sun and sweat sting my skin. These journeys were meant to be taken alone. Sojourns.  

And from the top, I can see everything. You. I’ve been in the town for a long time, and it messes with my hermit mind…being in the dregs, bleaching like deer skulls in the desert sun. I am insular. I am strong. I am vulnerable. And it’s time to head for the ridges. 

From Rilke:

For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

I love you. All of you. 

J. Bird 

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