Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gravity and Pull

Walking the world sometimes draws me to the unexpected. Though filled with hot air I am often led to a spot by the wobbling canvas planet making me wonder what forces are at play, gravity, wind or influences "out of this world". I had been rolling down a narrow shoulder keeping the world on the line while I was scrambling along a ditch like Groucho when I felt a pebble in my shoe. Across the road was an overgrown driveway that I thought I might stop at to clear my shoe. Then I had the thought I would keep going for awhile, the pebble was not that large. Then the world stopped, a bunch of tall grass halted its momentum. My phone chimed a suspenseful alert. Suddenly a line of cars sped by keeping me from continuing. As the road cleared a breeze urged me across to the overgrown lane with two metal posts at its entrance. Once to the other side I noticed a broken board with the word cemetery on one broken piece and the name of the cemetery on the other. They had hung from a cable that had been strung between the poles. If there was a cemetery it was either too far back to see or in utter neglect. When I let loose the leash from the world it wobbled uncharacteristically to the pole and broken sign some fifteen feet away finally coming to rest against the pole and the boards. I tried to roll the world back to the gravel, it seemed to resist until the moment I had the thought to prop the sign up off the ground. With no further effort the world rolled out of the way. I leaned the pieces against the pole and walked away forgetting all about the boulder in my shoe.
Thru Arkansas I have been scanning the ground for broken ceramic or china for a mosaic. Many times I have been walking along endless fields and a glint has me look down to find a shard from a cup. In some unlikely places I am brought to a halt by the wind as I come over a hill or bank around a turn or the wind funnels at edge of tree line. Not long after the cemetery grounds we had climbed a hill and rounded a bend that opened to new road construction where a hillside had been blasted away and a new roadbed sloped gently to replace the twisting narrow road below (locals call it Dead Man's curve). At the outermost edge of the newly fashioned bend in the road a wind surged and the world rolled back up the hill a few turns at the edge of the fresh tamped gravel shoulder under the last shaded spot for as far as I could see. I bent down to remove my shoe and the pebble to see there were several pieces of thick pottery amidst the sea of newly quarried gravel. The wind subsided and then gravity allowed the world to spin again.
Where a pond was separated by the road and a large culvert that didn't warrant a guardrail but did have several reflector posts which made me need to wait for traffic to pass. When I had a clear path I was held in place by Nice (the dog). He had found a tuft of grass to sniff and was anchored to the ground where he stood. I pulled, he resisted, I surrendered, he sniffed . I relaxed while I waited and looked out at the shallow pond I was about to race past and was compelled to take a picture because... It was picturesque. Then two families stopped, two mothers with many children. They took turns posing for pictures and we all had a happy visit by the pond. When they had left Nice pulled me over the roadway past the culvert as abruptly as he had stopped me ten minutes earlier.
Gravity or pull by a force of nature, sometimes it's better to relax and go with the flow.

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