003: Why I Went North

Soon it clear’d up; the clouds began to fly,
The driving north refin’d the show’ry sky;
Then to pursue our journey we began:
Ovid, The Metamorphosis, Book 6

In 2015, he asked when had I learned the color yellow and the sound of chimes. He called them “travel things.”

My father reached into the mountains and pulled a goat from a high, narrow place, as it was about to fall to the stones. It hadn’t yet experienced the art of slipping. I asked him what he was making. “Problems for you to solve,” he said. “Everyone knows the last thing Brutus saw was the sky.”

In 2017, it died in my arms. I watched its bones grow in the garden, in the lawn, like mushrooms, in the thinning shapes of winter in the distance. I asked my father where I should put the color and the sound, these “travel things you say you made?”

He said, “Those in the north dream of the south, and everyone knows the converse. Your problem is that you didn’t make the world and everything in the world–roads, clouds, the wind, especially the wind; I think you can guess why–makes you envious that you didn’t make it and that you’ll never ever be first. You can be many things, but you can never be my father.”

“I’ll go north then,” I said.

“Why north?” he said.

“Because east and west we’re blocked by water.”

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *