Tuesday, January 22

what we'll do

In a few years we will sell our house and make one hundred thousand dollars. Then we will leave.

We will hike the stark mountains of India and Kashmir, drink pungent yak butter tea with slow-walking nomads, and hang red and blue prayer flags from the stones in Nepal. We will rest in monastaries and stretch in courtyards tumbled with sunlight in the mornings. We will learn to chant.

We will sit on the cold beaches of Oregon and Washington and drink a hundred cups of coffee, tossing the dregs into the waves where slick-skinned sea lions will read our fortunes. Our dog will dig holes between the rocks that will fill up with salt water and reflections of the white moon and collect starfish and seaweed and heavy fog under the starlight. We will hang our wool sweaters to dry over fires at night and stand with our backs against enormous trees in the wide afternoons to make ourselves dizzy with space.

We will speak every night over candles and wine, giant words that bloom from our mouths, and grow tendrils from our throats that bind our bodies together so tightly that we must use the same footprints. We will clasp hands and run from tsunamis and embrace monsoons and whirl up into colored cyclones.

We will clamber over a ruined villa in Italy, turning over the stones with cold hands and sifting through the detritis. We will excavate into the loamy burial places of thousands with our fingers and press the bones back into the soft ground when we leave. We will climb through cornfields, the rustling of the stalks in our bones, and lie down on the backs of volcanoes in the hot silence and insect-buzz of the fields. We will use a knife to scoop out the flesh of pineapples in Peru and chew sugarcane in Brazil. We will burn our throats on cachaca and pisco. We will sip mate in a dark hostel in Argentina and bring music and white t-shirts to jailed men in Ecuador. At a bus station in Guatemala we will slice through a hard wheel of white cheese that we carry around in our packs. We will collect handfuls of ripe red coffee berries and pictures of saints to carry with us.

In Africa we will dine on blankets of sand and smoke apricot-flavored tobacco with toothless men. We will climb into half-buried pyramids and curl up in their warm dark wombs and let time wash over us. We will sort through gold leaf and strange masks on the way out, spilling pendants and lances through our fingers back into the darkness. We will touch the face of the queen as we pass, light touches like the breath of a bird's wing. She'll know it was us.

We will ride in tuk-tuks and taxies and make footprints in the dust of elephants. We will sleep on buses and cling to the backs of horses and camels and swing precariously on narrow bridges that cross gorges. We will have rides on sleds with ice-rimmed runners and lie on our stomachs to peer over the edges of carpets that skim the treetops. We will take gondolas and tiny planes and spend long nights on trains. We will find birds to fly us across the borders. We will drop our passports into ravines.

I will photograph so many things that my photographs with sprout wings and fly into the forests and become the leaves of the trees fluttering under the clouds. I will think so many thoughts that they will slip out of my skin when I move. I will collect them in the bowls of eleven thousand sheets of white paper cupped in my hands, and I will loose the paper to the wind.


Betty said...

Can I come too?

Jenny said...

We'll get extra pisco.

Jen Phelps Cutler said...

This is so beautifully written, Jenny. And it all sounds just, well, beyond fabulous. I hope all of your dreams come true.

crystinej said...

Love it, gave me goose bumps. I have said it so many times, but for old time sake..your writing kicks some serious ass. Specifically how fluidly you wove in your life experiences.