A written biography necessarily begins at a specific point in time, but a real life may accumulate like snow until it moves forward slowly, as a glacier will. Another life may assemble like a jigsaw puzzle, the result inevitable whichever piece one begins with. The front door to my house stands open and cool, but comfortable air moves through the screen door. A bell rings at the middle school up the street and fleetingly, the image of a child runs into the house and calls me Mom, but there is no puzzle piece that shows a child.
Small tasks become precious ways to gather time. When pulled, a thread makes emptiness into a pretty ruffle.
Our desert might be all there is to the world. Wheel tracks laid down like yellow ribbons wander hills where brush and bunchgrass grow so uniformly that ant hills and their territories form welcome interludes. There must have been citizens who were drawn by the distance from Rome into small lives like mine, believing that to find the center of things they must go around the world the wrong way. Consciousness may be the basis of material desire, but happiness remains an invisible relationship between the human mind and what it finds – a union of time and place and person that is so very different from membership in a family or a society. I never wanted what other people offered, as if the art of living is as simple as shopping for a dress.