Reading The Blue Clerk, 143

“Verso 40.1.1”

“I loved the desert.”

To be brought to yes. To sit with yes. Not even whispered. That opening. What opens. What is shared. To be invited to yes. To sit in yes.

I felt a peace in it, not harmless or fragile. I felt even.

I visited an acacia grove that felt holy. That’s the only word. Acacia trees whispering to each other, passing on the most banal news about wind and hormones, promiscuous bees and busy grasses. Amorous clouds.

It was removed from the lone acacia tree that represents landscape. Why is it always so alone? Does it get lonely? Did it choose to sit in this way, to commune in splendid hermitage? Do others remember it? The one who walked away? Who flew away?

(I have never been to the desert.)

I only fear other human beings, not the world. Not the earth. There I am willing to be devoured by its silence, its bird, its animal, its salt.

They say that the earth rejects some offerings. Carrion birds will not eat defiled flesh. Blowflies will not land on desecration. The earth must recognize those it wants. It must say yes. And, sometimes, the yes takes as long as the earth needs.

Unusable word—loved, but I loved the desert, the quiet.

The joy of a restful quiet. We have been in a long quiet. Or were in a long quiet. The silence on the road during an unevenly observed curfew named our fears. The birds were louder. Or more quiet. Unsure if this new state would last. If their songs could travel free, unencumbered by this and that emergency. It was a quiet filled with—what could have filled it? But it was not empty. Or restful.

And in the desert, mirage opens the earth. There, you will find the mind’s eye.

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