We were gone; quite far away from anywhere we’d normally go. There was a sandy beach but it wasn’t the ocean; the water was as warm as a bath and just as shallow. No tides could wash you away, and birds of prey circled above our sunburned bodies, carrying fish to their babies. It was quiet, and it was blue, and it was just what we needed.

Unfortunately my head is so bleached out beach bum lazy that I can’t quite yet get the sand and the river water out of my ears. Mixed in with the image of the sunset over the Potomac and the giant cave Buddhas of Xiangtangshan is a growing knowledge that I must crack my knuckles and get busy. I filled a dozen pages of my moleskin with pretty words with little direction. I have a few deadlines to wrap my head around (one of which is for own piece for Far Away), but today I am simply coming down. The in-laws just left at lunch, and we just returned from a long, dizzy trek through Virginia, back home to our corner of the valley that sits between the mountains. I have to tell you about Fredericksburg soon, though. I have to tell you how my heart was saved in the Freer at the Smithsonian. I have so much to tell you; my heart is simply bursting.

First, I have about twelve loads of laundry to do, a mountain of pamphlet ephemera, a cedar chest of jumbled memories to sort and organize.

Here is part of what opened my heart.


"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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