*

If he doesn’t fear you, he has failed to understand you.

*

The thing is, he must fear you, but this must not turn him away.

Then you will have found a woodcutter to build you a home.

*

He who goes into the thicket with spear and blade to kill the hart.

*

*

The last few days of sickness reduced us to laying on the sofa and watching Battlestar and touching each other in the mindless, comforting way that a parent touches a child, or the way two old lovers do, not unlike petting a good dog. Full of affection and tenderness, absent of desire or need or demand or rebuke or reconciliation.

Nor did it fail to heal something in us.

*

Now we are apart for a spell. It is good to take leave from each other from a place of strength and calm. It is bitter and hard to do so when things are already fragile, for you fear one of you might enjoy the distance too well.

There isn’t ever any guarantee. The past does not buy you a ticket to the future.

Knowing that, you sign on anyway.

*

The woman has been my great good blessing in this life, all I ever wanted for true and in ernest.

Still, I’m greedy for her and begrudge each day spent without her, like throwing gold out of a coach window on the way to town.

*

Still, I walked the dog on the beach in the golden light of the late afternoon and there was the salt tang of the sea in my nostrils and the thrash and boom of the green water against the rocks and the cries of birds in the sage and I thought I might could live a whole lifetime without setting foot inside a building again or looking at a computer screen or getting in a car.

I was meant to be a pastoral nomad.

To raise beasts and to go on raiding parties against the soft villagers and to sleep by a fire on a wide steppe under a hard and glittering night sky.

*

“uhg.”

*

Namaste.

***

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