A hawk flew into our kitchen window yesterday morning. It hit the glass and dropped dead on the ground. We went out to look at it, crouched staring at the complexity of its feathers. Something seemed born in its death, a particular scale of detail not afforded in life, and something else I cannot quite place my finger on. I felt it in my children’s curious innocence to the event.
I spent last week traveling. In one day I made a big J around New York State, from Binghamton in the morning, up to Syracuse, over to Albany, then down to Manhattan. That day is DVR’d in my memory: long periods of blurry fast-forwardness; endless channels of four lane highway. Freeze-framed moments of connection: landing in pieces of place without relationship or transition. In place, I saw fabrics interrupted and proud things left for the right eyes to see. That day was filled with lingering sad ghosts of what was in the upstate city.
Still embers of home and neighborhood remained everywhere I went. Still people carried the warmth of community. I know we have so much here, just to see it. A rainy fall day was no sadness for the beautiful leaves and hills of our home.
This morning I lit the woodstove. Things consumed, fire and rot; one violent, one creeping. Time passes and age is a slow rot and the backwards blur of my DVR, and death is the violent fire. Rebirth is the precious dormant spark, its burning growth remaking decay, the musty smell of the end of the season and the anticipation of a different spring.
My friend and I visited the 9-11 Memorial while in Manhattan. Violence and anger. Fire and lingering wounded hatred and the peace of those who knew, who had passed. Hilarie and I witnessed the wreckage of the towers in October 2001 and my daughter Cora was born in October 2002. She turned ten the day I looked into those voids and asked for release.
There is a hurricane coming this evening. I am at home, close with my family in a place glowing with memories. There is decay, there is fire, and there is spark here, and I am not afraid. The winds blow the ember brighter. The world will remake itself.