Remember that park you took me to as a kid, where a winding path made its way down to a creek with duck blinds here and there along it? We would watch together as turtles swam by, and sometimes a duck let out a mad trail of quacks in the air as it escaped a fight or something that spooked it. I would not trade my memories of us there for anything, but much of the time I just want to be the duck blind, to open a window to life without being a live participant. I would be something and nothing at once. You taught me to appreciate nature through our fishing trips and walks along so many bodies of water, with many springs teeming with insects and noise to the dead silent winters where perhaps only the deer’s retreating hooves are heard.
Most of the time I want to be the observation towers over Gettysburg–overlooking fields once strewn with death but never knowing it myself. I very well know it. I know the duck blinds see it, but they do not know it either. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, dad, to want these things in exchange for consciousness, sight and hearing, every sense,
but much of the time I do not want to sense and just be apart of it like we always knew I would be and you will be too … and everyone else.
I think of the duck blinds–the
the zzzzzzz of a million bugs
and think of the birds
booms heard from the cannons and the observation tower
boom–cloud of smoke