what was abandoned

in the place where the afternoon sun
lays itself and the building is shaped such that
when i tuck myself against its maroon fauxdobe
there is no wind,
this is where i read a vandana shiva essay titled
the sacred waters in a book titled water consciousness

in india, every river is sacred she writes
and she talks about how rivers
are bridges from here to other places
and that’s the reason
people scatter ashes of loved ones
in the waters – so that they can cross that bridge

she mentions shrines at the headwaters
and shrinking glaciers and then gets to it:
spiritual worship of water was wiped out
in europe with the rise of christianity
and even though it makes sense

it still punches me in the gut
because i’ve never really read it spelled out before
and it feels like encountering a sign with an arrow
indicating this point in history with letters that read
this – this is where the grief begins

she goes on: the new religion called water worship pagan
and denounced it as an abomination.  at the second

council of arles, held around a.d. 452, a canon declared,
“if in the territory of a bishop, infidels light torches or
venerate trees, fountains or stones, and he neglects
to abolish this usage, he must know that he is guilty
of sacrilege

and if i could stand up and point
to a time in history i would  point to this time and say
here. here is where global climate change begins.
the cloud
which i can only see a corner of
that calls me out of my room
to a speedwalk towards it
so that i might catch its colors
(pinkgold light casting itself
from the west)
and lenticular layers
stacked above the sangre de cristo peaks
how in my seeking
(of light and color and cloud and sky
beyond parking lots,
beyond stripmalls,
beyond the looming of fauxdobe)
i discover another footworn dirt path
revealing itself at the edge of campus
if one walks the perimeter 
of a fence
they might be lucky enough
to find a move-throughable shaped hole
that at the last minute
they might decide to duck into
just to take a look
at what was abandoned
rachel reporting from the bay
and she says action, i’m in action mode,
not very introspective right now, just
‘what can i do’


the peacock spider’s mating dance video
complete with didgeridoo soundtrack
that amy shows us around another
inadvertent evening gathering
(the very thing that keeps getting me
through this) around the kitchen table
from the water world:

Devotees cross the Triveni River during the Swasthani Bratakatha festival in Panauti, near Kathmandu, Nepal.  – voice of america, day in photos


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