The key to labyrinths …

is to walk the edge and always go right.

The walls always have to meet back up. The trick of a great explorer is to see cracks one can slip through, nearly invisible apertures which open into pilgrimage. I left to look for tiny chasms in the heat of the day again, this time with the pack:

fanny pack with: red notebook (small, for quick access writing), camera, flashlight,river knife through belt loop with compass and matches in hilt

army pack with: 3 tubes of paint, one brush, leather notebook (sturdy, for hard writing), one sparkle silver length of nylon yarn, one utility knife, one parachute hammock, 2 slackline rachets and cords, water bottle which hitches to army pack.

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Hands free, baby. Puppy Moss and I head to the back of the the property where the woods head down to the Gasconade. Sure enough, mostly clear path, definitely designed, here we go. I’m looking for slivers, puppy and I follow some small dry creek beds, come back, keep going. The path lets out behind one of OAC’s main storage buildings. Hike deeper behind there when the cawing begins. Clearly a hawk, close, flying directly above.

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Looking up, the hawk is carving asterisks in the sky over me; I’ve hit a nest nearby, no doubt. I watch for a bit too long because now there are two, perched about 4 cars over and 2 elephants up. They are baying cawing warning danger leave go away danger die die die. I watch a bit longer as their caws become cadences and it’s the speakeasy with unruly jazz and the threat of a fight, heels and glasses clinking, looking for a light.

There’s a sliver here. But I’m gonna leave it to the hawks.

So I call here I am to Puppy, which tells him I’m changing direction. I stumble on the woodland alley-wall man carved to accommodate all those telephone poles and power lines. Just freaking miles of them jigsawing their way through everything beautiful with their unyielding purpose.

But, beneath them, the wildflower don’t compete with the trees for sun, so it’s also miles of bright buttons of color on a green paisley blanket with splatter dots of flickering butterflies of half a dozen varieties, 2 types of bees and at least one wasp.

Suddenly, I’m a professional photographer! These butterflies could care less about me, the are in a feeding frenzy! I think of my friend who said something I can’t stop saying to myself …

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“Love has boundaries, and also love is boundless.”

I leave this sliver to the Kings of Change: man and caterpillar.

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Puppy Moss still hasn’t returned after this flirtation with being a famous nature photographer, and I’ve begun yelling hey Puppy in that way I do which means: get the fuck back here right now you ole houndy moss.

I cross the road to Lily’s pasture, no horse. I cross into the cow pasture (side note, they are kept in with nothing but a freaking string, like literally) and onto the Dream House. Then past it, thinking about how we are driven to make communities and it’s tempting to set up my aerie near there to have friends and solitude and bonfires and name constellations together.

I keep walking down and away. I stop and just feel the space. It’s lovely and open and on the edge of the wood and empty. I walk one foot more. Suddenly, a whole new path opens up. But fuck. Puppy.

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I want to go with him. I head back.

For the record, Puppy’s always waiting at home when I get back.

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bonus fucking burning hot august afternoon overheated face

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