395: Patagonia part 7 (thaw)
by Danny James
After some time abroad, being suddenly home again endures a spectacular dilation. It’s like the sight of the first visiting snowflakes, the falling fascinates like none after. The plain and recognisable circumstances glisten afresh with seemingly new and engaging qualities as everything slowly drifts back into its usual recognisable place, settling into a blanket of familiarity. Before long the rain of pleasantries will again begin to irritate and you’ll tell yourself at first that you just need to change something in your thinking this time, adjust the old lens through which you look at things. You understand that you’re not altogether wrong, because the larger share of life will be used up on tedium tasks and the routine actions and engagements necessary for simply existing, much less for making fair and civil progress in this world. You’ve been too long between living and missed some wonderful experiences and insights that might have helped, because you’ve been busy trying to wedge into your life some of the lessons you took from the last time you got it right the third time and you’ve been making up ground ever since, but still; nothing prevails quite like the emptiness of a life layed out in full and supposed before it’s even commenced it and worse, without having the faintest idea of how so much hope lies in the available choices, and thus pressing on and completely void of interment spells of spontaneous adventure and surprise and everyday a bare and unsatisfying effort. Contained and under stimulated and barely perceptible tones of activity compressed to a humming ineffectual lull, until reanimation of your blood and return of your wildest strength and happiness as returns by such a trip as enjoyed to the Patagonia’s. It is deeply vivifying, and renewing of what unnameable qualities stand spellbound and silent amid the rain of sensation and fresh, un-dreamable experiences that elevate us brimming into a modest Euphoria. But lean they must, in pitch and power. So as to maintain and not drain the host in a constant feed of enthusiasm and to fit the pressed halls of perception and memory. The effect of where you have been is noticeable, uplifting and even tiring, and like many things that saturate no matter how incredible the stimuli, temporal. What you’ve noticed most, is how simple convenience stores now bear an intimation; Entering them initiates an automative study of the shelves for border-easy dry goods, computing the comparative cost of bottled water. Coffee, any kind, to quicken the senses waned from an all night drive, when some small yawning section of your being quietly revels at the start in the middle of the night, and promise of that first breath of new evening air. The excitement stepping off the bus and out into the cold, your faculties quite unprepared for the chill, but riveted and inviting of any commotions. The newness of a new gas station with friends who share your lost and delighting meagreness. The smell, the buzz, blinding lights, coke cola signs and the curious glares. A pause in the middle of a somewhere, an interval and a never-ending getting by; it’s the same in rest-stops the world over. They hold mostly only the barest necessities of respite and refuelling with the same isles and arrangements as any and lie at the end of the same dirt road of an outskirt and in them still we are gladly lost. That is the travellers lesson. You understand the various and similar constants of human need. Interaction and communication and everyone once in a while a blessed intermission from going someplace to rediscover your own simple humanness. You would not have known this had you not needed to go to see for yourself, and we all need to figure out this Labyrinth on our own and when you do, you finally realise that we don’t much do different things as much as do the same things a little differently. It mustn’t be forgotten, amid the circling fear that you will step back into the same old exhausted habits of constructing a mechanical existence that only forges forward and does nothing to lateralise with the view. That fails to stir the emotions or rouse the sanctified instincts of your fantastical bearing awakened by sunsets, open roads, friends by the fireside in cold mountain valleys and her eyes the first time you caught a glimpse of love in them. When Amy had looked through you and into some sad future that she knew was coming, and achingly, tenderly desperate said something so incredibly touching, as though if it were then surely her last act on Earth it was the only one that mattered and it had to be said. Amy was wonderful like that, but you did not hear it. You’d never hear it, and the look on her face after was ample to cause the world to halt, the bars over your heart to dissipate and the very centre to fold in upon itself, overcome. Amy, knowing her sweetest truth had missed its mark and went drifting off searching into the infinitude from which it came said nothing more but smiled gently and dipped her little head upon your shoulder, closed her misty eyes and fell softly to sleep. You have not failed since to remember that golden moment, it outshines any have you ever had. Though it has been the cause of a recurring and cataclysmic grievance ever since, that you could have no whit of recollection or imagination of exactly what it was that Amy had gathered up all of her resources of courage to say, the shadows and suppositions of which as it escaped and evaporated were enough to profoundly and instantly redirect the emotional course that you would choose to take in life. You were simply absent then. A spectator of your own life than rather the participant, and you find yourself now attempting to recall the many preceding miracles mistook for everyday occurrences that are fewer now, and paler that you are looking for them. As is the afternoon sun of our time compared to its morning heat, the best is always done. You have slept too long, that waking now none too late, the Sun has begun to set. Staring out of the window at everything that’s new and will never your eyes see or your bare skin feel the brushing of again in this lifetime. Gazing at a vastness of land between all the places never adventured, stretching for miles and miles still. There could be layers of new experiences yet, – the overcast of old memories with more blankets to come of snow. Her eyes, as your own close.