A Moment with Jim Harrison
What if it were our privilege
to sculpt our dreams of animals?
But those shapes in the night
come and go too quickly to be held
in stone: but not to avoid these shapes
as if dreams were only a nighttime
pocket to be remembered and avoided.
Who can say in the depths of
his life and heart what beast
most stopped life, the animals
he watched, the animals he only touched
in dreams? Even our hearts don't beat
the way we want them to. What
can we know in that waking,
sleeping edge? We put down
my daughter's old horse, old and
arthritic, a home burial. By dawn with eye
half-open, I said to myself, is
he still running, is he still running
around, under the ground?
-Jim Harrison, circa 1969, Leelanau County, Michigan
The painting at top is Cabin Fever (1976) by Susan Rothenberg