MOVEMENT

My favorite way to move is on a narrow path between huge indifferent things. My favorite path like this in Seattle is between a busy highway and the Woodland Park Zoo. From one place along this path through a fence I can watch a neurotic elephant move. It swings its head and trunk back and forth between two pauses it can’t sustain. This might be the loneliest movement I’ve seen, being engulfed by rest.

I also like to move on tracks–recently I was on a train. From a window I watched an old man walk down a narrow path between shrubs and a concrete stairway, holding the railing of the stairs while he followed a more gradual way. Then the train moved and he turned into clothes pinned to wind.

I like when someone else is moving with huge news in them. Running in a downpour is a variation of this movement.

I like to move downhill in sled tracks that suddenly bend my breath between trees.

I’m moving soon to a new town. Most of the way there I’ll be conveyed by air.

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“What if you get stranded in the town where pears and winter are variants for one another? Can you eat winter? No. Can you live six months inside a frozen pear? No. But there is a place, I know the place, where you will stand and see pear and winter side by side as walls stand by silence. Can you punctuate yourself as silence? You will see the edges cut away from you, back into a world of another kind–back into real emptiness, some would say. Well, we are objects in a wind that stopped, is my view.”

[Anne Carson in the introduction to “The Life of Towns”]