Day 567, January 20, 2022

The Possibilist

I sometimes imagine going on a long walk. The way I used to take the dog and hike the old roads and trails on Brushy Mountain. I would follow deer paths along the ridge, discover cellar holes and stone hitching posts. I once spotted a screech owl, and in the blink of an eye, lost it again. I once thought I had stumbled upon a dead man, but he was just a retired philosopher, napping. I imagined walking over the horizon and continuing on the Robert Frost or the M and M. I might just happen to keep walking. There was a Buddhist monk who traveled through this town with a bowl for alms and nothing else. Or maybe he had a campsite somewhere. But he walked all his days. Until he fell ill with Lyme. It seems almost like cheating, how being in motion can allay the mind, let me simultaneously marshal attention to something precise and specific as a dinner conversation with the kids at the old oak table and the kitchen with the green vinyl counters. They had no faith that this world would continue to exist. It frightened me. And motion lets me go, everything extraneous to the moment, the effort of climbing a steep hill, the air, the steadiness of footing, the sound of an airplane in the distance, my breathing, my imagined apologies. 


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