Rendered Fat Content


JAN BRUEGHEL THE YOUNGER: The Garden of Eden (1635)
"We're shadows glowing within this forest."

First week of June, Evening arrives as an actual breath of fresh air after another blistering afternoon. The house, closed up since late morning, suffocates by then and supper seems unappealing enough to just cancel it. The heat exhausts me without my having to exert anything and leaves me feeling worthless, hoping for morning. The Muse suggests a walk out into the Evening air, and I cannot concoct an excuse to refuse her invitation. I check to find Molly ready to come in from the back deck, I don my walk-in' shoes, and we depart into gathering darkness. The evening feels like velvet on my face. The sidewalks still hold traces of heat and the shadowy yards still show off, in silhouette rather than in full glorious color. The difference leaves them seeming magical. Flowers appear first by scent then by outline. Even without evident color, they seem strangely intact and instantly recognizable. Whomever left their hose stretched out across the sidewalk overnight deserves a stern talking to.

We're all alone, save for one gentleman out watering his roses and a young woman walking her dog.
We had not been out for an Evening walk since returning, eating seemingly later every Evening before collapsing exhausted into bed. The Muse, sequestered into her endless Zoom meetings through the day and I, focused upon cleaning up the yard, except for a first day stroll around to the big city park which is also in our neighborhood, we'd driven or just stayed home. This town, this place, this neighborhood in particular, was seemingly made for Evening walks just like this. The already huge trees seem even huger when their tops disappear into indistinct darkness. The streets seem perfect when seen with most of their details omitted. Large screen TVs flicker through front windows and seem alien and intrusive. Only we seem to see any alternative.

This late, we don't even think of stopping to visit anyone. We acknowledge homes belonging to people we used to know or used to be related to, but we slip right by, astounded that this might have actually become our neighborhood again. We revisit our displacement and the PTSD it wrought within us, and how we coped and how we didn't. The past seems so past in this moment, though, and we revel as we walk through our history and into our present, seeing our future in the shadows. Two guys sit down in the Mill Creek ditch grinning like fools, feet dangling into the rushing water. We greet them like either of us actually existed. We're shadows glowing within this forest. I can name most of the trees we pass by the shape their leaves cast on the muted sky. The Black Walnut's leaves smell exactly like Black Walnut ice cream.

We walked forever through that Evening, feeling an even deeper SettlingInto settling into us. Lawn sprinklers whispered secrets as we passed in the darkness. I saw a trellis I remembered from when I was a child, an ancient thing still intact and mostly still white. Had I dreamed of revisiting this spot or am I dreaming of revisiting it now? Somehow this universe resurrected us and brought us back here, pulling us through a full circle first. That full circle could have been much worse, and had we lost our heads, it very likely would have been much worse for us and for this universe. These Evenings balance out the smothering light that dominated our day. It reassures us that we're not simply stuck here by happy accident. We knew precisely where we were headed, just never certain how we might achieve our goal. Having achieved it now, on this lovely Evening, we're still unsure how.


Friday arrives on the same bus as us, uncertain how it came, but here it is standing on the front porch this morning. I figure I might just as well invite him inside as I charge outside to change the sprinkler. This was a week of unachieved objectives, of getting started but not of finishing. A week spent stumping myself, Lightenings, Tendings, Tidyings, Mournings, Porchings, and Kickin'enings. A week seemingly spend in-between. Meteorological Summer arrived, though it's still Spring by my calendar. Earlier flowerings have already turned to dust and their bushes ache for pruning back. Rhizomes want digging up and better spacing, but that work's still in my future. The porch still needs repainting once it cools down enough to make finishing that effort possible. The Muse took a well-earned week of vacation wherein she discovered that she had really needed a week off to accomplish nothing but SettlingInto until feeling connected.

I began this writing week playing an infinite game of
StumpThe and managing to mostly stump myself, as usual. "It might be that the purpose of StumpThe was never really to find the correct answer, but deeper engagement."

I next reveled in Lightening, not the lightning this season brought along The Front Range, but the shadows and Lightening SettlingInto here brings. "Too much of great things might pose even greater danger."

Then I spoke of Tendings, wherein I considered my many freedoms. "Freedom comes not from infinite latitude for spontaneous action, but from feeling intimately tied to something."

My most popular posting of this week, Tidying, surprised me with its popularity, for it served no more or less than a minor confession for me. "Tidying was not a worthless diversion. It more finely focused our attention upon where we find ourselves. No longer simply SettlingInto, but here, home at last."

My second most popular posting found a sweetness in Mournings."Life runs its course. It does not walk. It moves seemingly ever faster before ending its race, perhaps accumulating kinetic energy for the ages after the story stops growing and starts reminding others."

I next described how I was going about creating a masterpiece nobody will likely ever recognize, perhaps an allegory for life, in Porching. "A man could do worse than paint his porch. A porch could do a whole lot worse than get repainted."

I ended my writing week addicted, like we're all addicted to something, with Kickin'. It's not so much that we're all addicted as that we're all actively trying to get over, through, or around something here. "Kickin's one of those activities unimproved by trying."

Fridays, too, seem ripe for acceptance. The race is done for the week and whatever the passing week's become, it's officially finished becoming and formally became. Infamous or not, it's just what it is now and never to become what it was not. I find reassurance in this recognition, as if The Muse and I were out strolling through a once-familiar neighborhood of an Evening, not heading anywhere, not even distantly attempting achieving, perhaps simply SettlingInto. Thanks for tagging along!

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

blog comments powered by Disqus

Made in RapidWeaver