the work that keeps us alive
I’ve been running at dusk, into the fading light - chasing it. And the impossibility of the task, of running down the day into the night, is where I feel alive. No small feat in this mass of pandemic time. On the way home, I can’t make out the rocks on the recently graded dirt road, but by moonlight in these mountains, I make my way home. I don’t need to see where I’m going - at least that is what I tell myself.
After losing my sense of taste in November, I craved salt. I ate saltines - a mouthful of ash (as I wrote to a friend) - by the box, littering my room with their plastic wrappers. I could not get enough, and yet I could not taste anything. But the memory was there, and oh, to taste that salt.
Without taste, I became disoriented. I stopped wanting - to read, to write. I don’t know if those things are related.
Over the past months, a few things, moments that have felt like chasing the light, tasting the salt:
Reading letters from the dead & being reminded of how alive they are in their writing
Photos by Graciela Iturbide & Mary Ellen Mark
A designer sending me a hand-drawn sketch of a book I’m a part of
The stars at night when I walk home
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (the one book I didn’t put down)
An armadillo shocked to see me on the road & frozen in fear - such odd but endearing creatures!
I am thankful for the work - the creative work, the workings of the natural world - that is alive with meaning.
Keep running into the fading light... keep writing ... your heartfelt words are powerful... I too like to walk in the dark, by the light of the moon or in the pitch black ..
Happy New Year Alice! I hope you're recovering and keeping well in the Ozarks. Thank you for all your reporting, for sharing your creativity and shining a light.