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  • Eddy wouldn't have caught your eye across the circle if you scanned around the sparse flame-lit faces. The fire was mesmerizing anyhow, and we were all here in a pretty introspective mood. This was solstice night at Earth Teach, a tradition of renewal.

    I was in a squirrelly head-space and came alone, almost sulking. It was very cold, I soaked up the last heat from the cab of my parked truck waiting for dusk, and wishing for company. A self-assured 8-year-old on a way-oversized quad rover told me to follow paper bag lanterns around to the bonfire clearing. She knew more than me already. It was very cold, with a slight breeze from higher up hill.

    I wanted to jump around while we waited for a crowd to gather to the lighting, shake off my brain slag and bring in some Animas to the ceremony. Will was on like that of course, he's a dancer with one of the local corps, but even he was getting dull response from neighbors in the circle and seemed to fizzle. So solemn; the tall ring of cedars overwatched us, vaguely curious. An invocation of directions and archetypes came and went, rather thin and halting, as we were quite surrounded already. Burning, no questions.

    We had spoken before and it was clear to me in a hurry that this choppy alert suave east-Asian gent was aligned to a force and knowledge that wasn't often carried so openly and considerately in men of our age. I still have the feeling of not understanding 'who' he was, in that menial sense of boxing people up neatly for right relation.

    It was clear to him, as soon as the flame crested and we passed from awe back into muffled revery and reflection, that there was more to say, something I needed to hear. I can see that now too, looking back. I have an old face of wanting-ness, on the shelf more now, relaxing. Permission really, all that I wanted, from someone worthy of my trust. Just a yes and OK, you're you, I'm me, sometimes it's hard, some people will detest you, most of the time we don't really know and so play gentle with that. Give more than makes sense. Give what you know, don't strain to accommodate. Understand that your integrity is a gift which sometimes means withholding, too.

    I sat down a while as timbers imploded and little whorls of--what? everything. Flew. The little tomgirl quad wrangler made a nest of boughs beside me and knew that I saw her just right, just real. She reciprocated. And the next morning, the Sun coming, I woke to run alone a mile to the large hilltop labyrinth where it was just us, just me, in a much bigger picture.
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