A Blessing
Here's a little Friday blessing for you as we rise into the sky and speed toward my own heart's motherland, the great Rocky Mountains. It's always hard for me to come down. Hard to come back. I cry sometimes when we part from the aspens, the crags, the snow, the glaciers, the lodgepoles, the elk, the marmots, the eagles, the tatanka, the waterfalls, the wild apples, the columbines, the cottonwoods, the creeks, the old gold mines, the sky, the fish. Man. You few who read Wandering Time, my favorite among my little books, know how deep and erotic my feelings are for the intermountain west. Especially there. Why? I cannot tell you because I do not know. Maybe I met myself there. We have selves we are cursed with, don't we--selves we can barely define before others start to torment us with these versions of us that are not us. Not the real me! Not the one in here, where I really live! Don't you feel it, sister? Aren't you sick of being defined by your breast size or your waistline or your moods or behavior of beauty of kids or lack of kids? Donb't you feel it, brother? Aren't you sick of being too bald, or too fat, or a 98 pound weakling, or a mama's boy, or a macho pig, or whatever other label got stuck to your face before you even felt like you could breathe? Aren't you damn well sick and tired of some intrusive son of a bitch defining you, my friends?

Yes, you are. You know you are. Were you ever in a painful marriage? Uh-huh. Come put your head here beside mine on this rock and tell me what happened. Were you ever in a painful childhood? MMM, yes, as Kate Bush sings. I know that story. So, you see, I walked up those mountains over and over and that rotting sad painful body cracked and peeled. That death I carried on me fell away. The crows and the holy magpies and the jays and the camp-robber birds took strips of the dead me away to feed their chicks. Up there. Where three out of every ten raindrops are God's own tears.

Nobody's going to define me anymore. I shook hands with myself. Beside Boulder Creek Path. Eatin' apples off the scraggly little trees with rattlesnakes under them.

Who can know this? Nobody knows. Nobody but me knows how it feels to go back up there. Maybe the elk know. They gather around to listen.

Maybe you do now.

Be blessed. I offer you a small Apache blessing I stumbled upon. It's sitting here on my desk. If I were going away forever, I would like to whisper this to every one of you.


May the sun
bring you new energy by day,
may the moon
softly restore you by night,
may the rain
wash away your worries,
may the breeze
blow new strength into your being.
May you walk
gently through the world and know
its beauty all the days of your life.


Gotta go pack. See you among the aspens.

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