How does one even set about describing peace?
I could tell of my own most peaceful moments:
- During a Texas summer electrical storm I laid my head in my mother’s lap (I was four) and the warm living smell of her skirt was like sleep in early October.
- In the chill early fall Santa Fe, NM, I rode my bike to the Children’s Museum. On the way, a wind picked up and all the tall dried grasses flailed in a wave across the field and swiped at my jeans and hit my spokes with a mechanical succession of thin whisper: thup, thip, thup, thp thp thp…
- In Acapulco, when I was nine, I was swept by the undertow and the waves kept on coming, beating my face into the sand. I would try to stand up and run to shore, but my body was too light to escape and I nearly drowned. Two strangers pulled me out and my father held me on the sand.
- In Austin, when I was twelve, my friends and I stayed up late and went to walk on the railroad tracks. When a train came we stood a few feet from the rails and held hands against the strong gust of the passing machine.
- At fifteen, in Idaho, I was sent to a wilderness rehab called SUWS. We were made to spend the third week alone (we were watched from an unknown distance). Instead of reading the provided book, I sat for days watching time pass; the movements of plants in the wind, animals fulfilling necessities, the sky that I imagined would be my escape. At night the moon would spend a few minutes cradled in a hole eroded through a large rock near my camp.
- When I was small my mom would sing James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James to me at bedtime. When I was older she sent me a tape of her singing and I listen to it when I’m sick.
- Walking with my grandfather outside of Ocotitlan, Mexico, we found a waterfall.
- My grandmother would buy apple fritters from Dunkin Donuts and take me to a place near the 360 Bridge. We walked up a trail through the scrappy Texas woods and there was a rock ledge sticking out over town lake. We would talk and she would tell me stories.
- The cool side of the pillow.
- Walking in the middle of the street at night.
- After I got my first car, a Dodge Caravan, I would drive far out into the NM desert outside of Santa Fe. I would park on the side of the road and climb up and lay down on the roof and look at the stars.
- Waking up next to Aubri and reaching my hand out to touch her pale skin.
- Each time I realize what a great thing it is to have developed and nurtured a tight friendship with Joel.
- When smoking Fentanyl.
- Sitting on the roof of Alex and Maria’s house in Playa del Carmen, watching the thick patches of clouds roll by like a sheet of broken promises.
- In Guatemala, the morning that I woke up with Rebecka Gullberg and we talked in the hammock looking over a city about how beautiful moss looks growing on rebar.
- Swimming in the ocean with Tess.
- Flying into New York for the first time at sunset through clouds and expectations.
- Speaking with Amanda and realizing that intellectual, emotional, and sexual fulfillment were a realistic goal.
- The good time I smoked salvia and was able to re-experience any memory I chose.
- Accepting, for the first time, that experiencing somebody briefly can be enough, after Amanda bailed.
- Hitchhiking in Arizona being picked up by the nice couple in the red pick-up and feeling freedom whip around me in the truck bed at 80mph through the desert in December.