Friday, September 23, 2005

Morning Glory

The alarm on my phone went off at 5am like an urgent hyperventilating Lilliputian dancing a jig of impatience four feet from the bed. After successfully ignoring it for a good 45 minutes, Katrina convinced me to get up and drive with her to Knoxville so we could save some gas. Thus came the beginning of what started out as a really crappy morning. The normal beauty of the pre-dawn drive never even crossed my mind today - I didn't even roll down the window. Several arguments and an apology later, we arrived at Brickey Elementary and she got out to go try and keep the system from turning a class of first-graders into little government I/O machines. She'll do well, they're kids and they're resilient.

I left to the tunes of Over the Rhine to go coax a little decency out of myself through prayer and calm. So I headed down Hill Rd to escape the subdivisions. They remind me of well-dressed cubicles. The people who live in them spend their whole lives in cubicles. The parents sleep there in a room that is spacious and not crowded with furniture. The kids try to dress up the room to make it a little more lively, but in the end that's a difficult thing in a drywall cubicle. They get up with much chagrin and retreat from the one cubicle to what might be redemption at school, only to find a little aluminum and sandstone cubicle waiting there for them, begging to have copious amounts of sometimes worthless questions answered upon it with no explanation why. The parents dress as if for an important day and go to a small gray and more customary cubicle to perform the unexciting circus trick of getting too much accomplished for nothing but a big check to satisfy your logical and creative reasoning (and to pay for the other cubicle). So, the wonderful thing about Hill Rd. is that you can leave all that behind. It winds past the last few subdivisions that can really be considered suburbs of Knoxville and begins a decent into the wide floodplain valley of Bull Run Creek. I pulled off the road just before the bridge over the creek and took a bit of a nap while the music played lazily. I awoke a bit later to find two men and a dog looking at me wondering if they ought to wake me up (since it's not often you find a person looking freshly dead in a car on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere). They hid their disconcertedness under good composure, I reassured them, and they went on their walk. I got out to walk down to the creek and sat their in the beauty of the sun shooting slow arms through foggy gaps in the trees to land on the creek bed under a couple feet of jade water. Curt, unkempt wildflowers had taken over the land behind me and around the little pebbly beach. I shuffled slowly looking for a place to sit and wondering what I would do or say if someone showed up with a shotgun and a claim of ownership. But no one did. I came upon the skull of a very young calf lying on the loamy creek bank. No other bones, just the skull. It was half-covered in mud and I placed it gently in the cradling waters of the murmuring creek, watching it as it rolled along the bottom in a strange sort of dance that seemed to carry the morning's troubles away with it and out of sight. I sat down in the final symphony of the previous night's crickets and watched as a red-headed woodpecker clicked thoughtfully at a few places in the top of a tall dead tree, polished by the sun and wind. Sycamores soared over the water, with the bark peeling from their tops to reveal white underbark beneath. I love when they do that - like wise old folks with white hair and quiet old stories to tell. I sat and listened to the language of the creek for a while, remembering the One whose voice was like the sound of rushing waters. I apologized for the way I acted earlier. I breathed in the sweet air of flowers whose names I didn't know. And I wrote...


and Blogger Jared addressed the Senate...

just seeing if had or hadn't fallen off the edge of the earth yet???

holla atcha later in the week

11:28 PM, October 04, 2005  

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