THE CROOKED STEEPLE

writing of KJ Stevens

KJ Stevens

KJ Stevens
Location
Alpena, Michigan,
Birthday
June 04
Bio
K.J. Stevens is an American novelist and short story writer.

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DECEMBER 12, 2009 10:35PM

gliding

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December 10, 2009

7:08 am

 

Temperature drops and I am not as warm as I’d hoped to be. It is a question of balance and hunger and need and want. It is never being settled no matter how much comfort and goodness and love I find. And it is the dogged determination that I cannot be beat. Will not give up. And that one day, all of us will benefit from the weight I collect, pile on, and carry.

 

But it is more than pounds and ounces. More than inches and feet. It is more than any measurement, color, shape or size. It is a combination of these things and these things are combined with even more—letters strung into words, heartbeats, gravity, the sky. But always, there is more that shakes loose, comes round, starts to rise.

 

It is a hawk that floats and holds to one spot in the blustery white sky. The icy air ruffles its feathers as it hovers over a patch of tall brown grass on the side of M-5. And I want to stop and watch, to know what it sees on the ground, but traffic is too congested and too fast and filled with people living from bumper to bumper, red light to red light, and nobody seems to believe that a hawk has meaning when it is frozen like that—wings outstretched and gliding in the December sky.  

 

But it does. It must. Because I remember it. And it reminds me how good the cold can be. That we are fortunate to be warm with our bellies full and that there is nothing else we should ever want, dream of, or need.

 

But we do.

 

The cottage we stayed at for two days. Up north in October. Too cold to swim or fish or do anything at all, but one of the best weekends we ever had because we were away from the city, with each other, and there was nothing but the sound of water and sky. Birds and trees. And holding our new daughter and playing with our son, and me and SB curled up warm at night in the shabby little bedroom. Lightened by liquor and heavy with sleep. Each of us dreaming of how happy we’d be if only we had a place like that. Away from the concrete. Apart from the dying city. So we could live simply in a place that offers nothing, but quiet.

 

But wants change day-by-day, and the quiet—as tempting as it seems—holds the ache of great desperation. It has killed more men than any city. And so, we rest easy this night. We take stock and breathe and remember that it is more than all of this. More than all of us. And we are thankful. Because even as the temperature drops and I am not as warm as I’d hoped to be, we are together. Hovering with wings outstretched. Gliding in the December sky.

 

~ KJ

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