Photo taken at Diamond Hill, 2006
The older I get, the greater the desire to avoid a heated confrontation.
"That's not possible in life," he says, half asleep, his legs wrapped incestuously around a green blanket. But he's too tired to listen and I'm too weary to speak.
But still. There are always two paths to take within this thicket that we've wandered in. We are forever at a crossroads. It's always a delicate, well-weighed choice, a choice between a disastrous plunge into the swampland and a few more stumbling steps forward. The path before us is unclear and the light failing, and sometimes I mourn so acutely the loss of what appeared to be surer footing.
Each step we take moves us farther away from where we once were, until we're in different parts of the forest entirely. There's no way back, there never was a way back, and the trail that we tended so carefully has long been swept away with the passage of time.
She turned away and left mid-conversation, tired of the impasse. My first thought is to strike out in anger, to call and utter some sort of ultimatum, but I pause as I move into my car and reach for the phone, unwilling to totally disengage, once and for all. And I drive on, and drive back to my new home. Away from my old home, a home that feels as cold and distant now as the sad whisper of the wind against the trees.
I feel sad for my children, I feel sad for her, I feel sad for me. I don't see a way out of this midnight walk through the woods. We've been walking this way for far too long, but dawn seems so uncertain.