spring but it’s cold. But we know it’s spring because the light is out later, and then there is moonlight, the fullmoon, and it’s like the light above the river never leaves, where the trees break, over the water, between the mountains, where the sky lives, the big open part of the world, as if we are insects in a meadow deep down in the grass, unaware of the big open space above. And birds.
It’s cold in my tent but quiet now, on nights where there is no rain. I can hear only the snorting of yearlings and the soft THUNK of their hooves as they chase each other in the wild strawberries, or run from an unseen evil, a cougar-shaped shadow. There are not very many cougars, and the deer are safe from very nearly everything else. No hunters come here, there are no roads, no cars to take them out at the knees. No cars to take me out. I do not ride a bicycle in the woods. There is no way to die, here. I will live forever.
We will live forever! I asked the trees about it. They told me that no-one dies, a blessing and a curse. We hiked in the woods for a hundred days, sat in the damp moss, got stoned and ate beef jerky, until we couldn’t feel the cold anymore. While I fucked you you looked up at the trees above you, the cedar boughs against the sky. You said you liked it more than anything. Fucking in the woods is like swimming naked, opening yourself up and letting nature get in every little part of you.
I don’t have time to write but I wish I had time to write. I lay in bed in the minutes before sleeping, in the dark, and start to write, but it is too cold to get up or I have no electricity or both or my body says sleep, sleep, because writing comes later, in another life, not this woods life, where I repeat phrases slowly, in my head, to try and remember them, but they are always gone, and in the morning I drink my mug of chickpea miso in the outdoor kitchen and look out at the damp forest that holds dark like a body holds heat, and my mind is empty. Or happy. My mind is happy. Still I try and remember things. Something about our worlds not being congruent. I live in a deep woods and there are hardly any flowering plants, and the rain pools in a million tiny places and the floor is not dirt but a network of tree roots, mycelium, moss, decaying leaves, and bug poop, stronger than anything, and living. It breathes, you can hear it breathe. You can feel it breathe, leaning against a doug-fir in a gentle wind. The world is rocking, did you know? The world is rocking us. It wants us to be soothed. We cut it down to the ground and burn it to ashes, and then there is no-one to soothe us. And you! You live in a world stuffed with flowers and humid, exotic shrubbery. And your people are plagued with allergies. And the floor is concrete. And there is nowhere for the water to go, except against the glass, and into the river, and to the sea. And dark and silence were driven out long ago, to the edges of everything, by the airport, with the coyotes. The dark and the silence and the coyotes live in the tall grass, out on the edge of everything. The sit together, and watch the lights along the Columbia. They think of metal skiffs and the open sea, and lanterns on long poles. They think of fog. They tell themselves old stories. They tell themselves the oldest stories. They wait. They have more patience than anyone.
I think it’s getting warmer. I think summer is coming for sure. I have patience. I have energy. My body functions. I am alive, and I even feel it. I bought a pair of birkenstocks online to bring summer on faster, but they were too big and summer hasn’t come. Just the long wet end of the rainy season, that goes on and on and on. And the books in my tent gather damp, and rain beats on everything. I want it to be so hot the mud paths turn to dust, and my tshirts fade in the bright UV light. I want to turn brown. I want to jump in the river in all of my clothes.
I want to name the deer- I want to recognize them by face. I want to sleep with them in the meadow sometime, my fists filled with grass.