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Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Stubbornly Green by Kathryn Kirkpatrick
Stubbornly Green by Kathryn Kirkpatrick for Susan
Driving back to my blue mountains, I am less than ever at home. Another bomb blast in Iraq— 46 dead, 90 wounded—refuses to recede to background noise. I turn the radio off.
When I was younger, the future was all pulse and promise, but middle-age doesn’t offer many bluffs. I suppose I believed in something like progress, ascent, however gradual, like this ribbon of road from Lenoir to Blowing Rock, the way I hardly notice I’ve risen from the piedmont hills until sheer rock face on the right side and a sharp drop to streams on the left reminds me. It’s we humans who love the straight line, want to be spared the looped intercessions of mourning and grief, even though all around us--the whorl of seasons, day and night at each others heels.
I’m not retreating to theories of inevitable war, but I know the dead have to be mourned. If we’re going anywhere at all surely it’s nowhere we know, the route more like a good conversation, all give and take, not the hard drive of the rock and roll beat our soldiers play during battle.
Now even this road I’m on winds— an engineer deciding years ago I suppose not to blast through solid rock. I wend past rhododendron and mountain laurel, stubbornly green through each long winter. Spring takes its time here— we’ll be weeks behind your azaleas. Like my saying what you already know,