"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

22 January 2010

Gray Day

There was some damage from the previous night's windstorm; one of the porch tables blown into the side yard, Milarepa's outdoor water dish blown over by her dogloo, the lid of our recycle bin blown off, and one of the strings of Buddhist prayer flags along the front fence was broken. The house itself was not damaged, of course. All the other things were more minor annoyances than anything. I know it could have been far worse.

Sure, I suppose I could be upset about the prayer flags, but that would be so thoroughly unBuddhist of me. If anything, it's a lesson in impermanence. Someday, the other half of that string will snap, and the mountain winds will carry the set of prayer flags far and away. So it goes.

Supposedly, deeper into the American Maghreb, there is quite the storm. Up and over and further away, it's snowing. Here, just ten miles east of the Roof of the World, in that Morocco, Land Furthest West, which I think of as my Kashmir, it's just overcast. A gray day.

Years and lifetimes ago, when Jezebel and I lived together, down in the city, we would react with childlike glee at the prospect of a gray day. Perhaps it was because gray is Jezzy's favorite color and Grey figures so much into my name that this made perfect sense. We would rush about the flat we shared, making sure to get ready as soon as we could, and enjoy as much of the day as possible.

There were trips to the zoo and museums. We'd grab a cup of coffee and terrorize various shoppes along Colfax and Broadway. Wandering parks and looking at old houses. Perusing ancient books and ogling over antiques. Driving around, just to burn fuel, smoking cigarettes, listening to music, and talking.

Those were the days. When Jezzy and I were in the middle of them, whilst we enjoyed them, I don't think we ever really thought they'd end. That we'd both eventually stop smoking. That she'd move to the burough township of Saudi within the greater metroplex and I'd disappear into the mountains. That we would find our respective mates and move into our own little lives with them, which involved the once-a-week phone call to one another.

Sometimes, when we're talking, the gray days come up. Most often when it's overcast. We speak in nostalgic tones about this adventure or that. Some conversation we had or a song playing during a game of rummy at Paris on the Platte. We sigh and chuckle and resolve to do something respectively with the next gray day.

As I look out the bay window at the overcast, I catch myself feeling that ting of excitement. That pull to go and do...something. Anything. A wide world of adventure lies beyond my front door, poised beneath gray day skies. It's up to me to get out there and enjoy it.

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