is I’m sitting in a chair on my back porch the Sunday after deadline and the leaves are all jiggling like it’s about to rain. I reach for my phone to check the forecast and wonder at what point did I get so lost that I need a weather app to confirm what’s happening.
What’s happening is the leaves are turned up, ready to receive the rain. It’s the pertness that makes them jiggle in the unusual way. Even this concept of a green embrace is its own technology, something I had read some time ago in a book and lazily accepted. It sounded like a thing that could be true. But is it what’s happening?
What’s happening is there are two dead plants hanging from the crossbeam of the upstairs deck, plants that, actually, no, aren’t dead! Green leaves sprout at the ends of brown branches. Small dark buds turn red in the light.
What’s happening is I’m thinking about how I can write the leaf-weather thing into today’s letter. What it has to do with this aimless week, the usual one after deadline, occupied by Getting Things Back In Order. The same impulse that wishes I had more time now doesn't know what to do with it can't stand the idea of being alone for 24 hours without a book or phone or tool and what if when we ask for more time what we want really is to receive less time to feel for not as long the fullness of being a human being is that what's happening!
What’s happening is a jet unzips the sky. A gray hand reaches across white.
What’s happening is a wave of sparrows alight on the roof of the garage. They survey the yard, discuss their advance, move along. Off to scout new terrain.
What’s happening is cicadas. Or cicada-like insects. What’s happening is their song doesn’t just fade in and out. No. It sweeps. Like the wind through trees. And deep in the woods you can hear the wind coming even before you feel it. But what invisible wind plays the cicada leaves?
What’s happening is the downstairs Airbnb guest is Facetiming in Spanish with his very young child.
What’s happening is I see water leaking through the deck seams above, catching on open leaves, dripping on the faux leather seat of the my bicycle. I see myself grabbing my glass of water and phone and notebook and trying to hurry inside before it really starts coming down. But it’s not what’s happening.
What’s happening is I’m sitting in a chair on my back porch, and the sun is out.
What’s happening is seven hours have passed. And it still hasn’t rained.
Written from Detroit, MI. Questions, comments, hellos—all welcome. Just hit reply.