Over the past twelve years or so, I’ve noticed I feel better if I cut certain foods from my diet—wheat and dairy being two main culprits—but discovering Dave’s Killer Bread has caused me to reconsider the virtues of feeling better. Dave’s bread is manna—manna being the flaky substance, like frost on the morning ground, given by God to his children in the wilderness, to be picked before it melted in the sun, to be eaten that day, not to be saved except for the Sabbath. To toast Dave’s Killer Bread and eat it with butter or fresh olive oil is a meal in itself. With black coffee, it becomes poetry.
Much more expensive than the gooey white bread that crowds the shelves, but gooey white bread is just gooey white bread.
Barbara and I are talking this morning about living—how if we were young again we would simply enjoy the moment more deeply, so why not learn to do that now. Now is what we have—only now is packed with memory.
We drive to HEB and I talk about how HEB is connected to my returning home with Melinda after living with her in New Mexico, about how I always felt a stranger in Las Vegas, New Mexico, though I was treated well, how when I shopped at HEB for the first time after returning to Belton I felt I was home. It was something in the body language of the people shopping there, something in the rhythm of their voices—I have known these people most of my life. It’s not that I fit, certainly not politically, and I was eleven before we moved here—traveling from base to base as an army brat—but my voice was developed more here than anywhere. I speak and write Central Texas, with a dash of Arkansas, and heavily spiced with whatever it is we picked up in Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, and California.
Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be comfortable living on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, or somewhere in Paris, or in New York, or back in Austin where I would run the hike and bike trail around Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake) wearing shoes without socks and a pair of shorts, soaking up the sun. I miss running. Running has become 4 ½ mile walks down the road of the new subdivision to the river where for a half a mile I am a romantic poet celebrating nature. Maybe I will run again—lose a little more weight, get the inflammation thing cleared up, or even if I don’t. I ride my bike now, so running might return. And running or walking either here or along the Pacific Ocean would work well enough. I sip my coffee. Take a breath.
I have to confess that today at HEB, I found myself looking at my wife. She was trying to choose from the various diaper wipes—she uses them to clean the car interior—and I was looking at her thinking something entirely different. I have a friend who is constantly telling me how lucky I am, as if I didn’t know. But luck is only part of it. Part of it is simply looking and seeing.
I saw you working your garden one afternoon and wanted to paint you there, the poet says.