Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
No Place Like It
by Kathleen Lynch
Sings me of sweet things
My life there has its own wings
To fly over the mountains
Though I'm standing still.
I had left to return home many times. The destination was the most elusive place, far surpassing the concept of miles per hour. So, it had become more of a journey unto the heart than the highway. That is what happens when one approaches the mid-life, the journey ultimately becomes secondary to the final destination. I was in my own skin again. It had taken years. Careers. Marriages. Childbirth. The passing of lives. The traveling of miles. I was tired. As I blinked into the pavement of the night sky, I knew. It was a sudden epiphany. An awakening. A turning point.
I had been chatting with a friend earlier that day.a non-descript 'any day,' an o.k. kinda day. As I glanced up and saw them I heard myself say, "Oh.there is my husband with his girlfriend." and as they drove by we both realized the impact of those simple words and their bearing on an extremely complex situation. That was the moment that Yeats would understand when things fall apart, a key moment as they are in the widening gyre of my life. The falconer. I must remember to thank my husband's mistress for becoming the understudy of my life, rescuing and freeing me from that suffocating time that was my second marriage. That collapsing lung of a marriage. Thank you. Here's an aspirator. Good Luck.
I left the next morning with my son who was working relentlessly on his own decay and growth that held the form of a lower tooth; an endlessly shedding six-year-old Shepard, and Rand McNally. We drove for thirteen weeks.
I thought as we began,
"Here we go boy, riding on the coat tails of your mom's road trip. But you are only five, and until you get your license, you are riding shotgun with me. Put on your seatbelt, have a juice box, and soak up America as it flies past your window. You are now a part of the most beautiful thing you will ever witness-riding over the belly of this country with me. Open your window, and fill your lungs with the scent of the moment we are passing through. These moments will build upon themselves til one day you wake up and find yourself in a raging vortex whose winds will ride you if they are allowed. I have felt these winds, but being me blew them to the north to welcome the sweet southern winds of my soul, the 'core' to prevail and blow within. The winds are tricky, but if you conquer the craft of breathing you will forever ride the warm breeze of the south. And that is what is taking us back. Ironically North. Far North back to Maine, letting her strong and honest arms welcome and hold us. It is a place that talks back to you."
I allowed life to carry me back this time. And allowed the gut feeling to finally have it way with me. I can be a passenger. I trusted life and myself as I had not trusted them in many years, and I let it blow us back with gale winds that even Dorothy would envy.
Heart, brain, and courage were sitting beside me all the time. He was dozing-sucking on his tooth. The home piece was my job.
And a nod to the ingenuity of Alexander Graham Bell for engineering the call that gave us a direction. An old friend with an offer.
Cooking. Remote. Fishing Camp.
Good Pay. Honest work. Good people.
Long hours. Black Flies.
Makers Mark. Bug Dope.
"What other options do you have? Good. Call when you get to the dirt road. We'll know if you don't show up in a few hours, something happened."
"What should I bring?"
Warm layers. Books. Notebooks. Sheets. Soap. Batteries. Sense of humor. Good scotch. A Wobbler, Joe Smelt, a Super-Duper. Leaded line. Net. Faith. Two toothbrushes. It may be a long season. No pharmacies. Bring what you need now. It's three hours out.
I realized it was time to extinguish once and for all the black smoldering timbers. New beams. God grant me oak this time, I am so sick of soft pine. I glanced back and caught the flicker of a dream passing over his face, and in my mind's eye my life flashed before me.
Kathleen Lynch lives in Farmington, Maine. She says she wrote the second paragraph in her car, driving home one morning. That is where this small piece began. Any comments or input is appreciated: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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