Come On Down

A musing on Europe

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

Take a breath deep enough to utter a thousand profound things. Speak only a story at a time.

Tie the pieces of your summer together in tiny knots. Maybe they'll stretch into one long string.

Tell your mother about the Sistine Chapel. You looked up and saw Eve, not Adam, in the center of the ceiling.

Drink your coffee black. You never thought you could, but it's easy now after two very good Italian cappuccinos and too many cups of very bad hostel brew.

Throw away those ballet flats with holes in the toes. Life is too short for so many shoes.

Go to Applebee's after the wedding weekend and order a Belgian White. That stuff used to be for boys and the girls who wanted them, but Germany changed all that for you. 

Remember the marches for Palestine on the streets of Florence and Berlin when you watch evil pour out through your computer screen. Protesters oozed around the corner in front of the Duomo and you weren't sure where to look. Remember, you are not the only one who gets angry.

Swallow antibiotics for a round and red tick bite on your pale calf. Don't forget to call the doctor for blood work. "Do you know if Lymes disease is prevalent in Germany?" asks the minute-clinic nurse. Say you aren't sure while your heart beats a little faster.

Read the letter with your hand over your mouth. Life moves in you and in her. Freedom begs to be released, and you had a feeling it was coming, didn't you? Dream of nothing that night, for once. 

Return to the faces you conjured up like visions all summer. Hug them close when you welcome one another back. There is so much work to do, together.

Say one word to your husband across American rooms and suburban booth tables: "Paris. Caravaggio. Halstatt. Picadilly. Kieran." A thousand thin webs of meaning cross between you. 

Write again because the day was undone without it. 

And once you're through, wayfarer and friend, come on down to the place where it's quiet and still.

Just you, the crickets, and the fresh wind of a brand new history.