Friday, August 26, 2005

Family Camping Trip


Gifford-Pinchot National Forest

We are camping again for three days in the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest. I am watching huge flakes of ash rise up from the fire and flutter down into my coffee. Out under the forest canopy I am torn up about survival and the weight of my life on the world around me, the dirtiness of living and the privileged elitist insularity of modern liberalism. You think my -ism could save the world?? Go grow something with your bare hands. Better yet, go kill something with your bare hands and eat it.

Hmm, Its too bad I ruined my good hiking boots
. I pay attention to these simple regrets. They are easier. Old runners aren't that bad to hike in anyway.


Indian Pipes do not photosynthesize.
They are ghostly and cadaverous.

The forest floor is still covered in volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. After 25 years there is barely a full inch of new top soil covering up the violence of the past. The terrain is jagged and sometimes breaks open a million feet above a rocky creek and a vertical drop that gives me enough time to think... if I were falling. I wonder if I could jump out and grab the top of that cedar tree on the way down.


photosynthesis free

My boyfriend is an environmental scientist. He tells me there are more living cells in a dead tree then in a live one. The inside is just structural dead wood. I believe him. When the whole thing dies it nurses microbes by the kajillions... mosses, underbrush, seedlings, roots and insects... all the new life.


There are dark places deep in the woods.


and sometimes a ray of light.

I remember the forests of West Virginia, fluttery with mayapples and their particular pungent muskiness that I haven't smelled since I was four or five years old. They don't grow here.


Who needs light though?

Besides that there is nothing in my past that I can even romanticize. My first day of school, my manymanymany homes, my virginity, my first love, second love, thousandth crush, millionth date, remote icequeen, lazy slob, wannabeeverything,nevernothing. Why do people love the past? I shudder at the thought.
If you read one of those books about dealing with impudent children and stubborn old people you could probably get me to behave well. But I am drunk on the power to dismiss people entirely from my life.


The creek is ice cold and when I pop up the air is so warm I momentarily think my bottoms have washed away in the current. I grab at my ass and find it is still clothed. I cant see yet because the cold water is still in mid-splash, that is how fast this thought is.

I cant remember them, from one to the next.

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