On How to Feel Alive

13 degrees Orest Blue Alaska WEB-1.jpg

It is 13 degrees outside and the sun is burning through the morning mist that hovers over route 36 where it leads out of town.  It is January.  In another lifetime I am unzipping a tent door to a swath of white on a mountain pass and melting a pot of snow.  Pumping a camp stove that belonged to a youthful version of myself who understood that there were many ways to live.

In this lifetime I am driving into Denver early on a Saturday with the heater on full blast and all the windows down.  This may be as close as I come today to nature‚Äôs inexplicable beauty.  The frost brushed on trees, everything an opal radiance.  And even this is enough to remind my soul of all the neglected ways a person might feel alive:

Wake up early, hair wet from the shower.  Throw on a heavy jacket and step into the freezing world to roll the trashcan to the curb.

Drive when no-one else is on the road.

Give people gifts.

Go without sleep until your entire body is tingling with exhaustion and when night comes, share your pillow with that tired, drunken mind.  Wandering in and out of brightly lit rooms, unfolding memories as if they are taking place all around you.

The moon in the dark and a summer lake underneath the moon.  Your face, breaking up from the smooth surface into the moonlight.  Suspended in the warm layer of water closest to the sky, an abyss of shadows beneath you.  That stillness that these days is so impossible to find.