Thursday, April 30, 2009

Danish Town Nestled In Chumash Lands

There in that Danish town nestled in Chumash lands where dander hangs like green beards on Santa Ynez oaks, there in that dream-cocoon of Viking heritage where old genes begin to rumble and mutter, if the poet could hear and translate those muffled crowd-sounds into language. There along those roads where deer dance, in sweet wine brought in from the vineyards fresh for the tasting, in steaming hot tubs and Danish rolls, oh there my heart calls me, oh there perhaps my love lies still, concealed, buried like some winter seed of grain in the snow, and might I perhaps someday sink teeth into earthy loaves baked from its hidden harvest?

The land is faithful, loyal even when hearts forget, for the earth holds moments. Memories percolate into the soil and are never lost. They gather and collect, forming the deep, compressed poems of the subsoil. The land welcomes eternity, is open to depths only deep hearts may reach, and the love they leave stays there nourishing the ground. Nourishing.

Those were eternities we spent, my love. How shall I go to that place my heart calls me to without you? Without you? How shall I be brave enough? Shall I stare ancestors' courage in the face and declare that home was crushed by an unknown jotunn, and find the strength to go on, forlorn and full of proud tears, into that unwritten scroll called future rolling out like fog o'er hills and plains? And find a home again? The ancestors know love, they know how the heart longs for home, and terrible is a homebreaking, terrible and mysterious. We must be brave in our own way. We must walk on through the smoking wreckage and find the wyrd that wends towards greater fortune, and trust that the Lady has her ways, ways we cannot fathom, and beyond, she brings flowers and smiles, kisses and deep embraces tossed out almost carelessly in their abundance, if we will only have faith and tend on our wyrd against the doubts and fears and obstacles.

The hands hold each other. The strength of those hands together, walking down Danish streets, strolling into shops, pretzels and cheese for you, the way you savored those pastries. I could buy you thousands, though your beautiful paunch would blame me later. Your love of eclairs, and do you remember, beloved, blowing lightly on your aebleskivers, and how the powder puffed up into your face, as we laughed at Loki's tricks? What I would give for just one more of those days. If I could save my whole life, I would buy you the whole Mortensen's Bakery. If like Freya I could turn these tears into gold, I would be a wealthy man, but not so wealthy were I to be able to hold you in my arms again, and be able to find home in your soft and strong embraces.

But I must go back, even if you do not come back. Do you know there, in that strange Danish town, I first dreamed as a young man of marriage and home, a career of counseling, while my family drove up and down hills surrounded by green meadows touched with the brush of tawny brown? And in the green picnic fields of that park by the waterfalls, my eyes saw bikers but my mind saw Vikings, and something deeper happened, some transformation. You could feel the elves by those falls, do you remember? We spoke of the dripping crack covered with moss as the Lady's Vulva, and those words we spoke were deeply reverent.

You must remember how by the ocean, beneath the stars, under countless oaks, and in the open air, I declared my love to you again and again, holding hands, eyes peering deeply, reciting that litany --- I give myself freely to you, now and into the unforeseen future, and you would repeat those words back to me. For once the world was solid, there was a future that stretched out so far. For once I had someone who adored me as much as I adored her, and she was loyal, and she was mine. But that has evaporated like a dream, like a slap in the face that still cries out, I love you. And would you abandon it? Would you leave it abandoned? Would you ask me to?

I juggle impossibilities. It is human, and I know Odr and Freya went back and forth many times, coming and going, leaving and longing, moving and missing. Grant me the dignity of dreams, for the soul longs for love, even for love lost. Beloved, those hips and belly you would stare in the mirror and berate, I cherished and savored, for they were yours, and you were the woman I loved, loved so much beyond compare.

Look at me. A heathen who's never touched a drop of mead (save as holy anointing for hair and forehead) singing a drunken song of love staring deep into the horn. But I am also singing of place, place that grounds memories, place that holds possibilities, place I must brave even if you are not there, for it holds a connection the rest of the domesticated landscape does not. And eventually I shall bring other women there, I must. But only because you will not come, for you have moved on, for I would rather, a hundred times over it be you. I must salute that ship as it sails into the fog, sailing it would seem on this briny sea eyes shed, and hope the Fields of the Sun hold further treasure waiting ripe beneath the surface. But my horn shall be raised to you, for you are woven in there, the memories cannot and shall not be banished, even as new ones are woven. I suppose that is what it means to be a man. To have the strength to move from a hearth that has grown cold, out into the cold, to find another home. And it is a terrible thing.


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