It was that year when the southern weather crossed a certain threshold and so did my age, when I no longer wanted to embrace the dying forests. Those brutally long hikes that took me to the edge, baptized in exhausted sweat to reveal the wide world from mountaintops were no longer attractive. Too much drought afflicted the way. We had already destroyed the world we once knew, and all of those dead and dying forests only spoke of reproof and dismissal as witness to our homage.
Or was the imagined drought only the inward turning of a being used to “taking it all outside” of himself as projection and dramatization of his own infirmities? I know this forest, these walkways, the texture of every root and branch, the color of every flower. Am I merely loath to repeat experience already sufficiently gained? How many more rainstorms to be caught within? How many wrong turns upon the trail? Is this merely the inevitable weariness that comes with age?
The only way I can see toward new pathways is through the always surprising encounter with passion in the form of love and in the incantations of desire. Once, very early on I found myself in a room filled with fellow students, staring out of an empty picture window at the reflections of campus streetlights, having emptied myself of all reasons for taking another breath. I could no longer motivate myself to move a muscle, to act, to feel. A young woman of my warm acquaintance in those days of impatience, detecting my condition moved closer to my side and questioned my motionless silence. I could only force out the single word, “Why?” I wonder now how she guessed the context of the question, if by telepathy or merely an interpretation of my observed catatonia. She whispered, “Because you want to.”