Justin Stone's creekbed

songs, prayers, poetry, stories, art, photographs, moving pictures, fondnesses, tall-tales and meditations

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Location: missouri, el paso

The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dearest Wolf Scout,

Great and powerful forces shape our lives. I never properly explained these things to you, but you were so frail then, so trembly and ill-at-ease, so full of worry, and certain lessons can only be learned by living through them. Or so I tell myself now. How are your knots? You always had such nimble, dextrous fingers, and such powers of concentration with which to guide the agile digits in the shaping and looping of things, the pulling through, the tightening. Even as the scared thing you were, dear, you had such wherewithal. Such presence. I miss those ropes. The trails you cut through the forest. I miss the insect collections with their tiny, detailed notations, so many shapes and sizes and colors to the small winged things of this earth, as well as to the earth crawlers, and you were their most ardent biographer. Each with a life, heartbreaks and hopes too many to consider, yet you considered them carefully, thoroughly, and you turned them into collections. “There is a place for things,” you once said. I will never forget that. I miss too the boxcar derby races, your cars keenly painted, weighted in front, slick of wheel and dynamic. You knew how to expedite one object’s travelling from a here to a there with such precision. So crowded the gymnasiums were on these nights, so competitive, electric, every person stared at every other. It was nerve-wracking, but exhilirating, like a high school dance! The other Scouts crafted such awkward designwork. Amazing that they still found ways to laugh at you. It was in their exaggerated laughing I could most see their folly, their fear. That is one of the many ways of people, as I know you have found. Those that should most be quiet cannot seem to shut their mouth. And then you. One so quiet, with so much to say, but you never said it. This puzzled me for so long, and I know my queries came to be bothersome to you, but then after you were gone (long after your departure, I might add; the vacancy you left took much time to fill, if in fact it has been filled) I realized the answers to my many questions were in the questions themselves. Like when you lie in bed but still you pass from room to room to room, pulling each room just passed into the next room with you, filling the new room entirely, and then so on and so on.

I don’t know why I started this letter. Thoughts of you came to me this morning as I sat on my back porch with coffee in hand, my entire world sunlit and still. Would you believe a bear came walking into the yard from the east forest? He walked upright on his hind legs, and he wore a small derby, like the kind Charlie Chaplin was so fond of, and also like Chaplin he had a thin cane in one hand. He seemed surprised to see me where I was. At least as surprised as I to see him. He was travelling somewhere, lost in thought, and then there I was, right in front of him. Well, after some moments of consideration, he smoothly slipped the derby from his head and gave me the smallest, most elegant bow. After again standing upright and balancing the derby atop his broad bear head, he rather loudly cleared his throat. As I said it was obvious he had been lost in his thoughts, lost so all morning long if not days on end, and the immediate need for words came as a surprise to him, and his voice was not ready (you once described this moment, the sudden arrival of another creature to the world you had awaken too and come to assume rather naturally to be yours alone, as having to learn all over again how to talk). In a surprisingly delicate voice, he asked, “Quite a morning, eh?” I smiled and replied, “Glorious, yes.” And then again all either of us could muster was to stare at one another, until the bear shifted his massive weight from one foot to the other, looked up into the sun, and said, “Well, then, I’m going into town.”

I laughed, and could hear you laughing too.

There is love~
Den Mother