Friday, May 19, 2006

The Columbia Plateau Is The Second Largest Fissure Flow In The World


In the mornings it is hot. Hotter than it has ever been. We've broken records days in a row now. There is a breeze coming through open windows. I can smell the lilac bush just below my bed. I try and remember what happened last night. Nothing. Nothing happened. I don't have any food and I've never liked the meal so I skip breakfast, sit down to my paintings, hum Rhymefest or Wagner. Moscow is empty. Not empty like the abscence of feeling or community. Empty as in a lack of drunk college students. Some nights I feel I'm the only one smashed. I think I should write it. I think I should write everything. But when I do I bore myself. It's not that writing is boring, I just am at a boring stage in writing. I feel some breakthrough is coming. I think it has to do with this summer.

Around noon it goes quiet. The hum of my fan muted by silence. Humidity builds quickly as wind ceases. This is my warning - there is no flash of light signaling a coming, no roll of horizon thunder harking a change, just silence. I put my paints down, wash my brushes, move everything valuable away from the open windows. I don't want to close them. I want to feel this. And when I do, the parking lot disappears as the dust rises in unison to the air in praise of the palouse. The house bends before snapping back upright. A branch lands on my car. Then the rain. Then the hail. Then the thunder. Then a flash right over my house, light coming in every window, every crack, every wall. And for a second I look over - has my clock stopped? - before closing my eyes. You could not imagine the smells. Forget history, I smell weeds, pollen. I smell geology. Dormant scents bring the formation of this plateau. I smell the fissure lava flowing. I see the Columbia forming. In the wind I hear Dry Falls roaring.

I open my eyes, see a whirlpool overhead. And the light falls off so suddenly I blink to find I haven't closed my eyes again. This is when the grouse come out to feed. This is when the squirells leave their trees. This is when I can see. Houses jettison their inhabitants who stand out in the rain, in the thick of it, and feel the lightning, exalt the thunder. I stay inside, wonder if I've missed anything, and finally begin to write. I have found my healing.

2 comments:

Turquoise said...

This is stunning. Thanks.

Anonymous the Younger said...

Thanks! How was seeing BC? In Joy's 391 we had weeks of debate over the merit of BC. Sorry I couldn't go, just forgot about a class I'm taking over the summer.