A poem I wrote in late April 2019, after returning from a 10 day solo hiking trip in Japan.
After the trip, after the mountains and temples, profusion of another continent’s blossoms; after the awe and fights in my head about language and custom and roots of belief; after talking with God and sleeping through vivid, cough-up dreams; after slipper gaffs and naked baths; after traversing the urban digestive track and the flight and the five-mile walk home; I crashed. Body done, parasympathetic nervous system upended, seeking balance and finding none but the gut punch of a passing Shinkansen for three days. Chills, fever, no food. A physical accounting for freedom. Conservation of momentum played out in my veins. But I ran today at a crawl, words smattered over the sidewalk. I accept, with the bitter, salty warmth of breakfast miso, I’m still half there.