On January 24, I am absurdly late in the tradition of the long look back at 2011 while gliding forward on a magic carpet ride into a future of resolutions and hopes. My life in 2011 can be charted on the sensitive stylus of a zig-zagging seismograph. In the spring, I was lying on my belly, on damp and cold ground, entranced by a wiry thatch of Siberian squill, of a blue so rarely found in nature that it taunted me with the idea that it was fake. It wasn't.
By the winter, I was on my belly again, sick with fever so galloping that it came in on those four white horses, taunting me, too, that it was fake. It wasn't. Either. For twenty-three straight hours, I could not sleep, I could not eat, I could not complete sentences. Yet I was lucid enough as I levitated. I met Roethke's ghost. He wrapped me close in the swaddling cloth of his wisdom, that dark time of his, of all of us.
There was a photograph that helped me through, too. I thought of Frodo going West for good with the Elves because he was so, so weary from his tribulations and journey. I wanted to round that bend in the water and never return; I wanted to heal, no matter how long it took. Yet I did return. When the sweats, and the shivering, and the shakes were chased away, and my mind fused back into my skull, I knew I could not/would not go back to life as usual.
So I am slowing things down to retool my online life to ensure that I don't fall off the map again. If anything, I will be better connected to you by being better connected to myself. I cannot foretell the future, even with a crystal ball, but I do know that you need to look in before you can look out.
I'll be back early tomorrow before the start of BWW with some quick tips to help make your camera see the light better, too.