a walk in the woods


“There is a space between man’s imagination and man’s attainment that may only be traversed by his longing.”
―Khalil Gibran

What does it mean when you cry and laugh over scattered raindrops, late summer flowers, everywhere the color green? Most of these photos aren’t in focus and there’s nothing terribly special about any of them, except maybe the first one, the riotous bunch of harebells; I think they’re singing.

As I recover my health, I’m trying to keep my longings to a minimum and I won’t tell you how many that is, but it’s one less today.

“We all have an old knot in the heart we wish to untie.”
―Michael Ondaatje, The Cat’s Table

When my partner was in Vietnam he spent some time helping a Japanese carpenter build a piece of furniture. The carpenter tied knots on a string to record the measurements he’d need when he returned to his wood shop. That was his measuring tape. The two also spent time stuffed inside a bank safe safe from a mortar attack. Sometimes things come into our lives we never imagined, and sometimes those are good things heaped right on top of the bad, a carpenter with a knotted string for a measuring tape.

Most of us wish for a long and happy life, especially if we’re stuffed inside a bank safe waiting for the madness to stop, or when our health is seriously threatened. Maybe I’ll tie a string full of longings and untie them one at a time: Granite Basin, macaroni cheese and a beer (that’s two knots), the quiet job in a place filled with books that I really, really like, good health. . . I think more knots is better than one big knot, that way there are lots of celebrations along the way.

Carson McCullers writes,

“We are homesick most for the places we have never known.”

, but right now I’m homesick most for the places I have known.

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One knot on my string untied. I leave you with Pablo Neruda, from The Book of Questions.

“Sufre mas el que espera siempre
que aquel que nunca espero a nadie?

Does he who is always waiting suffer more
than he who’s never waited for anyone?”

15 thoughts on “a walk in the woods

  1. This is beautiful, poignant, rich with meaning and lyrical. I read it twice to hear the music again and again… Blessings for a speedy recovery too.🙂

  2. A beautiful post with some amazing quotes! Especially that last one! I have my long string with knots, but I am grateful as well for the ones I have untied.

penny for your thoughts

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