Hello, little sparrow with your feathers disheveled and sparkled with dew, what do you have to sing about perched against a grey sky? Does your son return home from overseas today or maybe you have filled your retirement account? Have you eliminated inter-city homelessness and given the young ones food to eat? Is it possible you have removed corruption from government or created a way to preserve nature? Hello, singing sparrow with the wind pushing against you, perhaps you can tell me all the answers I need to know.
I wonder if the man who created the steam train ever stood in a field and watched his creation fly across the open distance of a purple filled sky, steam blowing and mixing pigments until the whole expanse turns vaguely into a ghostly remembrance of nature that will exists long after the era ends. I wonder if he ever stopped and said, “I’ve created a thing of beauty.” Now the trains, if you’re lucky to have any left in your town, squeal on the tracks instead of jumping across them, angrily protesting every forced move through the nation. They are too old, abused, and forgotten. The cluttered engines and inked cars pull at a dismal rate, along side a packed highway with faster vehicles. The sun still rises purple. The steam still mixes tinted magic in front of your window shield as you fly by. Chug-a-chug-a-chug-a. All the mastery and mystery of that first steam engine is reflected over the river bridge and into a dark, cold blue.
The drive down through Texas always seems longer than it should. It may be something about how the land reaches out for miles without a break, or maybe how I’ve taken the same drive home too many times in the last two years. It wasn’t more than a day trip. Drive down one day; drive back up the next. Don’t forget that little errand in between, which was the whole reason you stepped into your car in the first place. The trip was uneventful, unless you’re that type of person that believes going to Buc-ee’s is an event (Insert: If you are, you’re probably from Texas). We were about to take the yellow-brick road around Dallas and decided to break. My husband walked in wide-eyed. “Why does a gas station have more going for it than Hobby Lobby?” I bought him a Texas t-shirt. I believe our friends are disappointed when we say we’re from Texas and have nothing to show for it. We decided against posing with the ugly beaver statue, but there were several kids climbing and hanging off of it, so they must’ve found it cute enough.
It was only 9:30 pm when we arrived back at the apartment. Not too late, but the 500 miles and water quota had taken it’s toll. I fell into bed hoping that Monday wouldn’t come.
The alarm goes off violently at 6 am. I’m awake. I’m awake.
It’s ice cold this morning. I’m waiting outside a co-workers apartment to hitch a ride to work. I see a large airplane ascending sharply into the sky. My eyes follow it. I remember your recent post about seeing a similar plane, and you feeling that for the first time in a long time you didn’t care to be on it. A pain hits my chest, and I wonder if I will ever feel the same.
My favorite pen is a uni-ball Signo, gel grip. The world writes better when I have it in my hand. The words flow as effortlessly as the ink from the feed. When you have a favorite pen you are careful never to lose it. When you take it with you to write on your lunch break, you keep it in your lunch box because attaching it to your journal is too risky. What if it popped off the front cover as you carried it? The pen would hit the sidewalk with little noise and you would continue on. People would walk past and see this pen, black on a white background, and never bother to touch it. How would they know to? How could they realize it’s your favorite pen? When you have a favorite pen, you sit down in a comfy chair, pull your notebook on your lap, put the nib to the paper, and stare at a loss when you notice it’s out of ink.