I parked next to a beaten little import. The well of the passenger’s side was filled with empty sport-drink bottles and cans from soda. The dashboard was a shrine: three taped photographs, one of a young man and young woman, one of the young woman and an older woman, one of the young woman and an enormous marble statue. There were small carved objects affixed to the dash: jade and soapstone figures, beads and a feather. The sanctuary in my head is decked out in a similar manner. Post card pictures line my mind: people I love, trips I took, pets long gone. The road signs of my journey stand as exhibits of a tour of duty not always to my liking but nothing I would trade. I know clearly where I have been, and study the map to prepare for the future. Escapades and loved ones, trinkets strung on my lifeline give texture, flavor and flash to my pilgrimage.
Think of fish and dream of birds.
All I can do is stand on the grass
and count the shutters, the windows, the doors.
At first I cannot approach to inspect any closer than that.
Time passes and the other steps work me.
I peer through the windows the next time
and count the stuffs I can glimpse through the glass.
I possess no periscopic vision,
but what is in plain sight I reckon.
Subsequently I wished to exteriorize
and draw the inventory of the house
out onto the lawn and tally there.
Wishing to avoid that interior life,
the poisoned vixen who haunted there.
Time passed and she recovered as did I,
Into the house I went.
I am now able not only to number my possessions
I can assess the flow and function,
work patterns, interplay, reliability.
I have now appraised not just the what,
but the how of my life
and progress into tomorrow.
You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault