keeping time

so…my darling son, michael turned 35 yesterday. i sent him an e-card that he didn’t have a plug-in to hear. ahwell. my younger son, jesse (a mere 24) is nursing his broken heart. he’s cried so much, he has sores on his cheekbones. they are old, my babies. i can’t scoop them up anymore to celebrate or soothe.

i think of dali’s dripping clocks. wherever did we get the notion that time is linear? that it is measurable in discrete ticks and tocks? it’s a swirly thing. the rate at which time moves is highly variable and not at all regular. it doesn’t matter how many time pieces, watches or atomic clocks we consult, time just does its own rather bizarre thing. it works around us, on us, through us, despite us. it sneaks up on us, rushing us along, slowly twisting in arthritic knots.

i find that time has mucked up the spaces between me and everything else. it’s a palpable thing, like fog. i can see it, taste it, make it swirl and shape it into interesting patterns, but i can’t make it go away. it’s hugging, blunting the connections, filling in the open spaces and making it damn near impossible to reach out and grab my kids. time is messing with my eyes, shifting my focus. i see the ground more clearly. time is in cahoots with gravity, pulling on my breasts and belly, pressing me closer to the earth. the plants and trees are taking up more space in my head and the animals are circling closer. it’s a weird thing to watch.

last night i dug up the two year old poke plant that dominated my backyard this summer. she gave me her berries which are now drying in my cupboard. her mother, twice her size, keeps watch on the side of the house, and her sisters and daughters stay scattered about the perimeter. her roots were thicker than i thought they’d be and they spread almost as far as her branches did. i had no idea. these roots will make a large amount of very potent medicine. more than my family will ever need or use in several lifetimes. but, with strange forebodings of pandemics and plagues, i think this medicine will be offered up for barter or sale or giveaway as needed. sister poke knows more than i do and with all the attention she lavished on me this year, i’m sure there is time enough to send her where she’s needed.

so time is settling around me, nudging me off the line, shifting my focus around and down, grounding me. my sons are still running the distance, but i’m stepping off the path and into the circle.

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