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Moon over Stevens Pass 9/11/2022, 3am

" … conspiring to escape my defenses …"

Up in these woods, this weary world seems fresh. A full moon crawls beyond a sixty-foot cedar to stare down unblinking upon my very early morning doings, and finds nothing wanting, nothing awry. All seems perfectly right with this world in this moment, travails intact, problem unsolved. The Aspect here precludes the usual fears. I feel suspended above and safely beyond wanting. All seems calm. All bright.

The Muse announced the presence of her cancer in a brilliant social media post, one which nobody who knows her could have possibly mistaken her not having been its author.
She tells her story well and she insists now, upon telling her story. She posted then disappeared from the network, slipping into forest which until the railroad intruded, featured not a native and nary a game trail, true wilderness. This country's too densely overgrown for elk or deer to favor. Without even game trails, settlers couldn't penetrate into it. A railroad came, one featuring bridges, tunnels, and switchbacks, one almost wiped off the map by a spring avalanche which buried a train, a town, and all its inhabitants. Now this country's grown soft and inviting with occasional cabins absent overhead wires. A river runs eternally beneath a sanguine sky.

This Damned Pandemic started two and a half years ago, and The Muse and I have found no opportunity to get away since that beginning. We've dutifully stayed close to home, minding our own business, out from underfoot of the world. The world relies upon people like us to get underfoot sometimes. It morns our absences, especially the lengthy ones, and it scolds us to not forget that we require varying Aspects to thrive. We are capable of maintaining the discipline necessary to live in complete isolation, but this talent seems useless and beneath us, absolutely unnecessary and without purpose. We evolved into social animals for a reason and while we certainly maintain vestiges of a more necessarilyly disciplined past, our present and future demands something other from us. We must shift Aspect from time to time, come out from behind our defenses, and open up to something greater than ourselves, like wilderness; even ex-wilderness will do.

Later today we will re-enter the world we'd known, but we will not re-enter unchanged. We will return different than we departed. The Muse will doubtless find a thousand well wishes awaiting her return from her isolating semi-wilderness. I will find my procrastinated chores patiently waiting. I will very likely find myself perceiving my position differently, my Aspect there also altered, once again demonstrating that nobody ever really returns from these excursions, somebody else, somebody refreshed stands in for the tired old one who left. May the new one not forget how Aspect influences, how perspective dulls in surprisingly few days, and how fresh angles transform same old stories. Even when sequestering, I really should continue conspiring to escape my defenses and immerse myself in something similar to semi-wilderness.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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