I Am (an auto-biographical sketch)

(Dedicated to Stephen Speicher with the urgent hope that he will know more springs to give his own meaning to.)

Spring is alive. New buds, new leaves, new grasses, are popping, curling, and spearing out and all around. The air is cool and fresh. The sky is a strong blue; the sun bright, with fingers of warmth. It’s a morning in April and time for me to be running. A bit of jogging at first, then a short dash; then a little more jogging and a quicker dash, filling my lungs with the day, jogging, walking and dashing. Time to get in shape again after a pretty inactive winter.

Small hills puff up gently, waiting the quick pressure of my feet, which push me up slowly, then speed me down fast and faster! Slowing to a walk, my heart throbs, I gulp the sweet air. Young tree, I feel my grip on your branch as I shake off your drops of dew onto my head and face and arms!

There’s the city, a few miles away, standing like a friend, gleaming and flashing in the sunlight, hard and upright, open and honest. And there’s the bridge, glittering with the flickering glass and steel of speeding cars, a living jewel crossing the muddy river. Here in these trees sparrows sweetly chatter, as if to say, “Nothing’s the matter! Everything’s right!

Now, time to dash again, left and right, and up and down the hills.

Now, exhausted, I lie in a hollow on the dewy grass. The hills have risen over the city and the sparrows have flown off somewhere. There is only the earth at my back and the blue sky in front of me. The universe has a consciousness and it is I; it sees—with my eyes; it knows—through my knowing. Without me it is ignorant, it is empty, it is worth nothing. I am the sacred mortal something rescuing it from its dull immortality. I, and the men who use it, giving it life. Swinburne said, “There is no god, O Man, if thou be none.” That’s good, but why need a god at all? What is more than man? If the word “man”, in a man’s mind, or on his lips, does not sound exalted, is that the word’s fault?

Here I, a man, a living, thinking being, held by the earth upon the height, depth, and center of the sky, I am.

This entry was posted in Short Story. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s