Nob 11, 2005

After the Stars

'Says I to myself' should be the motto of my journal.
It is fatal to the writer to be too much possessed by his thought. Things must lie a little remote to be described.

Henry David Thoreau
November 11, 1851
Diary entry



The student is the teacher after all, having broken the back of his elder. Or, showing it was not a whole spine in the first place, only a high voice and a mastery of radical rhetoric that kept towering appearances. All were grew the double-height and insubstantial, like shadows.

Yesterday, they talked of stars and navigation. Tomorrow, one takes the land route, the other takes the sea. Who will walk the stars? Who has breath and sorrow enough for all the darkness in between? Who has thicker ribs to cage the secrets?

Certainly, the one who left behind his children will regain them. A father will be restored to decide anew if the hunger of his young can nurture him, drive his
spirit on. Or will he need to leave again? These will be his questions, this one who must heal. His surplus of tears will not serve to cleanse him.

The one to who kept his promise shall have the will and wherewithal to lay down a new table. He shall break bread with the few among his adopted, those few he found to have the greater breadth and a longer road within them than their father ever had. Then he shall entrust the table to them, to their father.

He shall not be keeper of the children any longer. He shall not be student of a broken man.

One will retain soil and roots, let this be known. The other shall stretch his legs out to sea.