First you’ll come to the end of the freeway.
Then it’s not so much north on Woodland Avenue
as it is a feeling that the pines are taller and weigh more,
and the road, you’ll notice,
is older with faded lines and unmown shoulders.
You’ll see a cemetery on your right
and another later on your left.
Sobered, drive on.
Drive on for miles
if the fields are full of hawkweed and daisies.
Sometimes a spotted horse
will gallop along the fence. Sometimes you’ll see
a hawk circling, sometimes a vulture.
You’ll cross the river many times
over smaller and smaller bridges.
You’ll know when you’re close;
people always say they have a sudden sensation
that the horizon, which was always far ahead,
is now directly behind them.
At this point you may want to park
and proceed on foot, or even
on your knees.
“Directions” by Connie Wanek
I would like to find the place that Connie speaks of. From my own front porch, I catalog the sounds- different bird calls (shrill, screach, chirp, whirl-whistle), traffic from Guilford and Byron, lonely dogs barking, engines idling, air conditioners humming dryly, leaves rasping on the ground and in trees, bees busily working, cicadas shaking their rattled throat or legs or whatever they shake to make that noise, more road traffic (fan belts, tire treads, radios, engines accelerating and decelerating) and children yelling- probably at each other. It is peaceful and quiet on my front porch- or at least peaceful and familiar.
The place that Connie speaks of seems quiet and peaceful in a deeper, reverent way. It is beyond graveyards, beyond the road crews of INDOT or ODOT or PADOT, beyond the congestion of city-life vegetation, past the river, over top of more and more rickety bridges, even beyond the horizon. It is beyond roads because you cannot take your car. You can walk but not all of the way. It is a place so distant and holy that you may only proceed on your knees.
If I ever made it there, I hope that I wouldn’t check my phone for WIFI.