Now it's time to say goodbye to all our famileeeeeee, M - I - C (see ya' real soon), K - E - Y (why, become we like you), M - O - U - S --------- ooopps, wrong show........
Okay, in all seriousness, this is day 100, hard to believe we are here at the end, that we rode all those miles, that we made so many new friends, that we saw so many awesome things, that we have actually made a number of major decisions about our life, and that we are back to this, the housework, the heat (we don't have air conditioning in our house), the kids, the bills, the calendar, oh my, the calendar.......
We will load the last day's photos momentarily, but we want to thank you all for your encouragement, for your support, for your humor, for your guidance, for your generosity, for your belief in us, for being you, and for spending these last three months with us.
The final text in this blog, officially, will be a long poem I just completed yesterday. We will keep in touch with folks about our retracing the trip by car in a few months to support the book we are writing about the experience. As a serious writer (don't take the blog as such, of course), I would never deliver such a newly written piece of work as the following poem for public consumption, but the poem is the whole journey for me in a nutshell, and even though it may go through revisions before it becomes the lead to the book, it sums up my personal experience and I want to share it. The poem has taken the past two weeks to write and will take months to tweek, but the point is still the point. The 'you' in the poem is my brother who took his life December 11, 2001.
We send you all love and light and joy and adventure, definately adventure......
Faith and Peter
And so it begins and ends with believing.
When, at last, I trampled the miles of bramble,
wrestled my way through thicket which tore
at pant legs and cheek, reached the rocky
precipice, stood looking to only the widening
blue knowing too well what was behind me;
I knew I would no longer turn to what
has already been, my back against tomorrow,
I a voyeur of all the hurts, all the disappointments
of my life before now. When I, at last, listened
to my own voice calmly command me to the edge,
I did not look down. I did not question. I did
what was necessary, and it was necessary.
When I leaned into the open, all that tethered
me to solid ground unable to accommodate
the weight of my fall, there was no pull
of bindings snapping free; I could not hear
the voices of my children calling me back;
no history of mine unanchored itself
that it might follow me into this place
where there is only this falling, this body,
thought, this rush of air and nothing more.
From time to time I worry, what have I done,
but I am falling and the falling is consuming
and I forget, for a time, that there is anything
but this and I sleep and I dream of currents.
In dream, you come as if Daedalus, voiceless,
outstretched wings of bird feathers and wax;
you come as falcon, again as hummingbird,
then barn owl, all before I wake and I marvel
each time, and I study you and study you
and study you. When I wake into what
I have awakened into for days, days becoming
weeks, I have forgotten when it was I left.
There is only this falling, this body, thought,
this rush of air, my hair forever fluttering
in my face, and, now, this embryonic obsession
with feathers. My shoulders ache and this
tires me. I sleep, dream of plumage, of wings.
The heaviness of them pulls me askew,
a gust of wind sends me tumbling. I can’t
regain balance. My shoulders ache and ache.
The extra weight makes me fall faster.
The air turns cruel, tears at my shirt,
cloth breaks down, separates, my face stings,
my hands, my arms. Now, there is only this
falling, faster, this body, this torrent of air,
wings like a straight jacket I cannot untangle.
Exhausted, I sleep, dream. You come to me
as condor, as osprey and I envy your buoyancy.
I study you and study you, dream of wings
Arms span the current of air, lift me, steady me.
I breath in the horizon, remember. I dreamed
myself as blue heron when I was a child,
as raven, but I could not carry you, nor myself,
from the madness. At seventeen, I packed
what little I owned, moved ten states away,
left you to plan your own escape and escape
you did. We forever lived too far apart and you
will never come again except in dream. What
did you dream yourself when we were young?
I know it wasn’t this, dead at forty-three. Now,
there is only this current of air that feels as solid
as earth once did beneath my feet, this soaring,
thought. I am sated, sleep, dream of cliffs.
I dream of my children. I dream of going home
but I am infatuated with these wondrous feathers,
the blue of them, the black, the dark red of them,
the feel of air pocketed beneath them, the feel
of flight. How can I ever go home? You will never
be there. Days turn to weeks. I wake, I sleep,
I dream of lakes, tributaries, pine forests, ledges
where distant mountains secret away sunlight
and give it back again. I dream of going home,
dream of my children but I’ve forgotten their faces.
Out here, the only sound I know now is that of air
and my own breathing. There is nothing, now,
except this current that feels as common
as earth once did beneath my feet, this soaring,
these thoughts, this rush of air, this escalating
belief that I should return home but I cannot
say why. I grow more exhilarated each day
by this mastery of flight, by a ray of sun
light reflected off a sky drenched in rain,
by the simple cadence of my existence,
by the sound of air pressed into obedience
by this one thing, these wings. I grow more
and more obsessed with the sheen of feather,
the strength in my shoulders, my back,
with dawn, with dusk. I sleep, dream
and you come as the brother I am missing.
You want to council me against forgetting
but all you can say is go home, so I perch
in the tall maple and for a while I watch them.
If I lower myself to the field behind the house,
feel again the earth, what of these wings
I have come to adore? What of this life apart
that is uncomplicated, that lets me miss you
less and less, lets me not miss them at all?
What of the life I left behind that will attach
itself to me like an assemblage of leeches?
I have forgotten the sound of my voice.
I hear their voices and I want them near me.
You stayed away all those years, forgot how
I loved you, forgot us all. I tried to reach you
but you flew too far into the isolating woods
to the north, you backed away until you believed
there was no one left to love, not me,
not yourself, not the frenetic women you let
console you now and then. You want to tell me
that forgetting feels like freedom but it doesn’t
last. I cannot hear you. I hear the voices
of my children, and I remember. But how
can I go home? Is this what you wondered
in the end? They are calling my name
the way I called yours but you turned away.
Indecision tires me, I sleep, dream myself
woman, mother, envious of the crow, aching
for the feel of air pocketed beneath these wings.
I dream myself gazing up at the night sky
and remembering. I dream myself loved
but cannot say that being loved is enough.
It wasn’t enough for you. I dream myself
consoled by the laughter of my children’s
children, by the awe in their faces when they,
not yet encumbered by the dull realities
of those around them, stare into the shadows
just beyond me, recognize the outline of wings.
I wake to voices calling my name and I answer.
© Faith Vicinanza 8/2/2005