We’re on lock down. You know, the virus thing. Now, I’ve got lots of time to write. But I’ve been fighting the sadness of temporarily closing down the Warrior StoryField to isolate.
Isolate. Really? That’s what we’ve been trying to undo.
Writing? No way. I haven’t been able to put two thoughts together for days. Maybe because we can’t be together. Talk, laugh, wonder, butt heads, pound stuff out.
Then comes a text with a tiny photo peering out from a tiny phone screen. It’s a painting. A beautiful painting. A painting made by my brother. I open it up on a big screen.
Pushing my chair back, I stare into it.
Behind me our hammers lay silent. Our torches unlit. There are no questions hanging the air. Even the dust lays idle. Is this it? How do we make art when we can’t get together?
There’s no one here. So I turn to the painting and ask, “What do you have to tell me?”
I’m not in my chair. I’m in the meadow by the dry bark of the ash tree. My skin is crawling. Its hot out here. So hot, my pores, like faucets, are drooling precious moisture.
I’m sitting in a field full of fuel. In the distance. A rushing flame. Its raw rage, sucking oxygen in. Breathing out, a black gray ash.
But what is this?
The grass beneath my hand is moist, soft, cool.
A comfort against the sky crackling with the sounds of shattering atoms.
Right now. Right now.
I’m laying naked in this grass.
Letting the whole of my skin,
The skin that makes me, me,
Its moist fingers
Its hidden stickers
Its shards of sharp granite.
My skin, the skin that makes me, me
Merges with the skin of the meadow.
It speaks to me
We are not in a hurry
We need not run
We are the ants busy building our mound
We are the trees dried and chapped standing firm
We are here for what comes
We are the grass that laid our seed long ago
We are ready for this moment
We are always ready
We know what to do
We have always known what to do
We need not run
So how do we make art when we can’t get together?
Perhaps we reach into the mystery that lives under our skin.
Perhaps we let go of pounding steel for now
And do what we’re ready to do
Treasure our connections, watch out for each other.
And, begin telling the stories we all want to tell.
We need not run.