Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bits and Starts

there are several rivers which work their way through missoula.
one was very close to where i used to live and it snaked through a
lovely little nature preserve i used to frequent.
i loved it -- watching the great horned owls
sit passively in the pine trees and the bald eagles
play in the river.

the spring melt quickened the river and moved a downed tree
at just the perfect angle so that when things quieted in
the fall and winter, i used to climb out on it and
listen to the river's musings.

it had so much to say and i was grateful to listen rather than speak.


she was decidedly a morning person --
enjoying the absolute silence as she began her days.
but as she walked to the elevator, she paused, considering that perhaps she was also
a night owl, as the night offered quiet times, too.

and she had to wonder what it meant to want to live life
predominantly on the periphery -- away from others -- and
absorbed in a silence which fed her more than anything.


she glanced at the elderly couple seated next to her in the coffee shop.
they sat in silence, each absorbed in a section of the washington post.
the woman punctuated the silence with staccato descriptions of available properties
as advertised in the real estate section.

"three bedrooms." "close to national zoo." "marbled entrance."
and she rustled the paper to get her husband's attention.

he never glanced up from his own section
but he did occasionally reach for their shared coffee cup.

the woman offered several raspy sighs and murmured "i just don't understand"
and she found herself wondering if she had meant her husband's lack of interest
or the mercurial moods of the real estate market.

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