A few days before departing from Boulder for Santa Fe I received an email from Gene of Last Word Ranch, "It's been below zero many days. It's been overcast for a month so our solar power isn't working. We are trying to find things for you to do in the house." That night I had nightmares about sleeping in all my clothes and next to a warm body but still being cold.
Jenny found Blue Horizon Farm, a tropical fruit homestead a half hour from her father's house in Miami. So, we met up there.
Southeast Florida in January is a gracious place. Laura and Brendan met while working on an orchard in Hawaii. They pined to be closer to family and found that Florida was one of the only places in the United States that could grow tropical fruit. Deep through the elephant grass Juna, their eleven year old accompanied us in our orchard tour. He is a burgeoning farmer- brimming with facts, memories, pride for each planting. While we harvested tumeric he played up in a tree and then went to make a salad.
We worked on songs, we busked Miami Beach, we played on a nude beach just North of the city then got back on the original plan's track. We descended back into the old, driving from Boulder to Mystic Hot Springs, UT and then only a few hours from our next stop, Los Angeles, we decided we couldn't resist the lure of a cheap night in Las Vegas.
Now I am filling out all the numbers. I am following black lines across police reports and insurance claims. The red sweater I loved the weight of is nowhere to be found in the black and white. It was hand knit, soft and bright down to the morning it was bought. The green Hawaiian shirt ('Ripe Coconuts'), the microphone that captured Jenny and I the first time we sat down together to record, the instrument with her music composed in Italy trapped inside. Greed and trickery have trapped that music now. What has greed ever set free?
The car that has been our ride was broken into on Friday night and I am confronted with my attachments to things.
We approached the car, bubbling like brooks towards the drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. One realization after another led backward to the breaking of each window, the crumpling of the clothes, the tangle of the cords, the crackling of the shards of glass under quick feet and suitcase wheels as our supplies for nine months of travel were hauled away. The socks my mother knit. I put stock in those things. I allowed those things space and so the thieves did too.
Will they use the things? Did they rifle through and decide which things to give to their aunt before or after the clicking on my computer, the scrolling through my pictures, the leafing through check books?They have my numbers now. All of them.
They have my numbers and my number. What were their senses noticing? The force of the window, the smell of the car. How did they choose which picture to post on my Facebook? Was it dark or light in the room when they returned home?
I came back to light, hot water, soft sheets, calm words from my mom and dad, from Jenny, from Drew, Will, Lydian, Jessie, Kate, Hannah, Elisabeth, Olivia. On the very edge of tears the whole day, I walked around thinking of the individuals who had broken into the car. In what color bed do they sleep? Are they a duo or alone?
I am awake now with an unknowing crinkle to the right of my heart. It's awareness of how little I know. It's fear that even in doing what I think is right I will be hurt. It's shame that I mourn objects. It's gratitude for Jenny's patience and heart. It's awe at my parent's kindness. It's a feeling of unworthiness.