Sometimes I feel nostalgia for the present moment, a fresh footprint filling with water, the huge black bear’s intelligent muzzle swinging left & right as he climbs out of the marsh beside the springhouse & ambles off down the driveway. His strength is in his loins, & his force is in the navel of his belly. When I was between the ages of nine and twelve I had a recurring dream about a pond dotted with lotuses in which the shadows of golden carp could sometimes be glimpsed, & if I raised one foot like a heron, my other foot would slowly leave the ground & I could float through the air a few feet above the surface of land or water with only my unvoiced intention to set my course. I would wake up convinced that such levitation lay within my abilities, if only I could find that pond and stand on its shore. This was, I realized later, a dream about the soul, the existence of which I did not then & do not now fully credit. But what I loved most about that dream was that the moment I took my right foot off the ground, a hush descended. All sounds turned distant & echoey like the song of a veery. It was as if the air had suddenly grown thick, or my ears had flooded with water in the aftermath of some great, improbable thing.
Dave Bonta (bio) often suffers from imposter syndrome, but not in a bad way — more like some kind of flower-breathing dragon, pot-bellied and igneous. Be that as it may, all of his writing here is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).