and I have to remind myself that it does so every day. It seems impossible sometimes to get above the fog of my own memory and into the space where images meet feelings to become nostalgia.
I found myself standing before the Black Lake Woods where I first went hunting with my father. They have since been logged out, and the lake has dried down to a mud-hole. Seeing them now gives me a feeling of angry despair. I imagine it as a feeling akin to seeing a loved one naked and hurt on the ground, and being unable to help.
Standing here now, looking at the ghosts of giants, I'm taken back to a particular hunting trip with my dad. I was seven, and we were hunting squirrel. My dad carried his old 16 gauge, a gun that had belonged to his father ... a beast of a gun. The woods were alive in falls grasp, vibrant in the crisp song of a cool morning. To the west, the river ran like a quiet sentinal ... spanning the length of all the dreams that fathers have for their sons, and sons have of their fathers. If there is one image I will always remember of him, it would be him standing in the Black Lake Woods. He is still ... silent. His gun rests in the crook of an arm and his face is turned up to the trees. His mouth, slightly open, seems to be almost tasting the air. A shaft of light, breaking over the levee, slices across his face and turns the few gray hairs in his stubble into silver. There were many times when I was afraid of this man, but in moments like these, I was in awe of him. Now I can see just how much I am like him. How many times have I stood in just that way, with my own son behind me, watching me hunt? I think that was the day when I truly fell in love with the woods. It was the day that I went in and never really came out again. Sometimes, when the woods circle around me and my vision is cleared, I get glimpses of that little boy, walking the trees behind his father.
The events of that morning, long ago as it seems, partly created the man that I have become, and partly destroyed the boy I was before. Therefore, forever comforting my disquiet and vexing it too ... in the haunting harmony of the Black Lake Woods ...
...but that is another story