Claire

I sat on a rock gazing upstream for no particular reason – I suppose – but for the slope of the rock provided a comfortable seat – and the sycamore provided shade, anyways, I sat on the rock upstream-gazing and thought about walking the creek bed

so many more days a creekbed than a creek

and I remembered the summer, ten years ago – Claire and I walked the creek bed –  an agreable workout for our legs – stepped up and across boulders through the creek bed – sought balance as legs moved from one boulder to the next – navigating our steps provided time for talk – talk somehow easier when your body busy with movement – your mind volleys between the subject of the next step and words about ‘how you’re doing’

I was headed for divorce – my choice, though not easypleasantnice – Claire, I suppose, reached out to me – I considered myself her social work project – she being that kind of person

today I sit on my back porch, feet rest on the low wall around our patio and I write – I’m on the other side of divorce – Claire survived a stroke no longer able to ford steps through the creek bed – I visited her those first few weeks in rehab – in my quiet way, watched her guide my response

“The present . . . explodes over my head, flinging the air with particles  . . . it is the live water and light that bears from undisclosed sources the freshest news, renewed and renewing, world without end.”*

  • Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

 

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