A mink ran into a hole underneath a hemlock tree in the snowy northern woods near Glen Arbor and at the same exact time in a bistro in nearby Traverse City , a simple touch given caused something to happen , something as immense as the discovery of what was found down that hole – a stone tablet etched with mysterious hieroglyphics from faraway Cyprus where it was known that millions of years ago copper was first mined out of the earth , and some here believed Michigans copper was used to build the Great Pyramid too . Leaning towards Francis sitting there next to him , Jack reached over as if some hidden knowledge were about to be revealed and while the others talked about the menu , he picked up her small long fingers , folding his hand over them , he whispered , ” you have the most beautiful hands “. A gesture so simple that she only blinked once knowing she would always remember that moment even on her deathbed . Aphrodite could even be felt smiling from planet Venus . The mink , needing seclusion to find nourishment and willing to go to deep places was drawn to the lustrous beauty of the copper in that nocturnal realm . ” Now we see as in a mirror , in an allegory , but then face to face , but then I shall know as I am known “. ( Aramaic Bible ) It was a strange winter , the winter of 2015 , the winter Jack and Francis noticed eachother as they watched the ice slowly melt , seeming like decades since it had been clear … gazing and gazing . Two nights went by , counting and counting , nights that impregnated his heart with an almost pain when he recieved a poem from her and upon reading it , words failed him with ” I go to pieces ” running over the usual calm of his mind where now the memory of her hand turned on a light , a light of beauty and truth he was unaccustomed too . He messaged her back , ” can we meet this afternoon , I can be there by 4:30 “.
The car Jack drove is lost on the back roads on purpose . He just wants to be near her . Lighting a fire , Pele thunders from the distant volcano 10000 miles across the sea , a thunder reaching the interior of the 1996 Dodge where Francis , in the passenger seat , listens and listens to Jacks voice , a voice so open with honesty , as the wheels slide through the soft snow of these unplowed roads for miles and miles . Here too lays the slow motion of the little Hawaiin girl figurine shaking on the console dashboard , the radio static never interrupting her rhythmic dance while the woods of tall pines out the windows make her an unaccustomed backdrop of winter . Tumbling over the hills , thru sightings of the shoreline , past small frozen lakes and streams , the pale blue moon yawns at the earths powerful moving force , an astonishing force moving continental glaciers of ice , wind and water over geological time that once carved out the deep basins of the Great Lakes . The car passes Gravity Hill , a vortex crossing over the 45th parallel . What was Francis to do now – the ruins of Jack beginning to enter her soul as he brings them forth , and a living female ghost sitting in the back seat . Jack is sentimental and never throws anything away however broken it might be . The mystery of heartbreak , the clue , waiting for the temperature to go below freezing like the maple tree when the pressure developes , causing the honeyed sap to flow out through a wound .
It was a certain Friday evening in January when I saw them in my review mirror , reflections in the ice of the car windows as if they existed thru tinted glass , their car coming to a stop behind me at the red light , the window slightly ajar as Jack smoked , both of them looking like ice skaters under a floating disco ball , the small mirrors casting colored spots of light around a dance floor world of snow . An illusion you think , an exaggeration ? I know what you’re saying , ” that crazy narrator again ” well , that’s enough now , after all the Lady of Shalot possessed a curious mirror that enabled her to look out on the people of Camelot , why not me ? Cyan ( 21 Shades of Blue ) often writes about this .
The chattering of words in the car stops as they look ahead to see the last flocking of robins to fly south . But Jacks sad song sighs long at the end of his tune while the ghost sitting behind them remains with a slight smile on her beautiful young face . Francis could hear the crack of his heart as if a sharp piece of ice fell from high above severing his body , the blood making a stream of Marsala red on the whitest snow in the land . He possessed natural earthiness that Francis found seductive and grounding , reminding her of an oak tree . But , alas , there remains a hurricane in his chest pocket , a photograph . Twenty years ago , after his wife left he shut the door in his house to wait for the end of the world . ” I adored her but I didn’t take care of her enough . She went to Seattle with her new lover before I could finish building our house , months passed and then one day I just got in my truck , threw a sleeping bag in the back , drove cross-country , stopping once to sleep somewhere in Montana . I somehow found the restaurant where she worked and waited in the parking lot all morning until they opened and went in … and then I saw her , she was standing there , she was surprised , she served me coffee . We spent two days together , like we were tourists and I asked her to come back home with me but she wouldn’t . We got divorced , she married him and they moved back to Michigan a few years later . ” Francis was astonished that he had travelled all that way and asked him why ? ” The moment I laid eyes on her I fell in love … she’s the only one I’ve ever felt that way about . We once threw our shoes into the lake and laughed . She was just so beautiful !. ” The doldrums lingered in the frozen air as the car travelled on and on , Jacks memories appearing like rest stops along a highway . Where could he lay down his tired head ? Would he always be alone with such broken pieces cutting like glass ? His house had been finished long ago ( he was 60 now ) , an old velvet quilt left hanging behind his bed , notes and diaries yellowed and fragile like insect wings , his mandolin , since speechless , on the opposite wall , his saddle in the barn without a horse . Francis , slouching against the warmth of the seats leather tries humming to the interrupted radio songs as the little Hawaiin girl continues to strum her ukulele and the night around them creeps like glaciers creating those wide valleys aching for the coming of wild flowers , the lakes for humans to float upon .
Francie , who he had met three years ago , once wrote to him from Bulgaria that she would be so happy to live in that barn loft he had shown her and watch the donkey in the mist of spring walk the empty pastures . Jack liked that . But she was a nomad and wouldn’t last in one place for very long , or so I thought . But then , they are both rather strange , curious like that sweet , creamy Annona fruit , each variety named after Hindu Gods . And they both , too , have unusual problems reminding me of that modern skyscraper I read about that when sunlight reflected off the tower , it melted parts of a Jaquar car parked nearby . Did you know that the mirrors of antiquity were made by grinding down volcanic rock and rubbing them with ashes ? Pools of dark still waters , crystalline images collected in the hearts of these two friends , sometimes not knowing what they exactly understood about life, “what had been or what would be “, about to be part of a miracle ! And the universe , well , myths and mysteries wanting to bathe the bodies of these two humans , could be heard as tones of the earth at a 136.1 Hz frequency . . . ” With him will I speak mouth to mouth , even apparently , and not in dark speeches .” ( numbers 12:8 )
Note : opening photo by Ken Scott photography
Girl floating by Vivian Maier
Hands : pinterest
Two reflection photos by meg
Skaters : taken from The Metropolitan publication in Detroit