is the smell
is the smell
is the color
I’d text you / but you’ve probably / blocked me
3 March 2022
is my new jam
/ / /
State College, PA
4 February 2022
I play the Jayhawks
19 January 2022
Somewhere in Ohio
Found in a journal from 2006.
I am almost two full days without Instagram. I take a lot of great photos and I like to share them with friends and family, and Instagram has been a great platform for that. But I’ve learned that I can’t just share them and also not scroll. I’m tired of scrolling. I don’t want to scroll, watch reels, and see filtered glimpses of people’s lives. We are not this perfect, and I’m tired of being witness to the pretending that we are, and the comparison that accompanies it.
Today there was finally snow. I need snow in the winter, otherwise it’s just cold and dark. This morning it was me laying fresh tracks in the forest.
I started my walk when the sun was still high, but sinking quickly from the weight of the day. I walked by the dormant apple trees, through the tall grasses. The milkweed still tall, displaying empty seed pods.
This land is frequented by small game hunters. Pheasants are the main attraction, but as someone who hikes these fields regularly, I’ve never seen them. Still, there’s evidence of their existence.
I wish I had a better knowledge of the wildflowers and plant life that make up the grassy fields. In the late summer and early fall these fields are bursting with color. I can identify some – wild cosmos and black-eyed susans, sunflowers, goldenrod… there’s others that I could name if I could see them. Now, in the middle of winter, I don’t recognize their skeletons.
There’s always some new discovery. A “how have I not been here before?” moment. This time it was this tree tunnel. Rows of pines with birds fluttering through the dead branches, and little tufts of green at the tops. Viewing these trees from the fields you would never know of this secret passage. A subtle wind caught the still living needles and their motion sounded like white noise above me.
I have a poor estimation of time, of how long it takes me to walk, or how quickly. I was pleased to catch the sunset but also knew I didn’t want to be caught in the dark. I watched planes flying in for landing and the moon slowly appear as the sky darkened.
As I returned to my car, it felt unfamiliar. It always does after immersing myself in nature. The forests and fields and trees is where I feel most at peace and comfortable. I don’t have a need to pretend. The trees understand what I’m feeling without my fumbling and misguided explanation. This walk was meant to stretch my legs from a day of sitting at my desk and with that, a way to recover some sense of lost time. I could have stayed out there longer, but family obligations pulled at me to leave.
This year I want to be about discovering new places and feels and experiences and rediscovering old favorites.
there’s a path just off to the left
that ascends gently into a thicket
of chestnut oak on either side
a small trail overgrown with sweet fern
it leads somewhere or nowhere
but for a while it was all there was
/ / /
11 June 2021