January 16, 2012

This is the Accompanying Note from a Map to a Mystery

1.         When you go, go alone.
2.         Two weeks before you depart, on the night of a new moon, place five grains of sand in your palm and sleep with them pressed against your cheek.
3.         Do not be disturbed if the sand has seemingly vanished by daybreak. (This portends good things.)
4.         The sand must be from a rocky shore and you may require a magnifying glass to count out just five grains. This is vitally important. Any less and you will not sleep. Any more than this and the gods may take displeasure at your greediness.
5.         Wear shoes made only of natural things—this may be difficult and expensive and you may have to have the shoes specially made. (If you do; try to retain the services of someone from the Sioux or Navajo nations—barring that a good Italian shoemaker will suffice. But say nothing of your intentions. Say only that you need the shoes for a wedding, which is not a lie. You’ll discover why this is so when you arrive.
6.         On the day of your departure, eat no seeds and drink only reds, as if you were the unclean and starved for some quenching sangria.
7.         On this day, if you happen to be in the company of a newborn, a virgin, or a homeless man or some other sacred being, you might want to reconsider your plans and leave on the next half moon, instead.
8.         Be sure to wash your hands and feet before your departure.
9.         Take nothing with you.
10.       Be silent. 

5 comments:

e.gajd said...

Meg, I was completely engaged by this. I loved being surprised with '... drink only reds...'

And I also loved how #9 contradicts 2 and 5, but ambiguously, sort of. In a way.

janjoplin said...

Hmmm, does this mean you sort of, in a way, loved the contradiction? Or, #9 sort of, in a way, contradicts 2 & 5?

Thank you, Guy, for taking the time to read this! Makes me feel visible somehow.

e.gajd said...

Perhaps both and neither. Maybe.
Regardless, it is delightful.

Lauren Baldwin said...

Wow! Meg, do you know the Canadian poet, Lorna Crozier? This poem reminds me of one of her poems. Caveat: Cutting and pasting it here may have messed up her line breaks.

Packing for the Future - Instructions (by Lorna Crozier)

Take the thickest socks
Wherever you are going you'll have to walk
There may be water ~ there may be stones
There might be high places
You cannot go without the hope socks bring you
The way they hold you to the earth
At least one pair must be new, must be blue as you wish
Hand-knit by your mother in her sleep

Take a leather sachel, a velvet bag
And an old tin box - a salamander painted on the lid
This is to carry that small thing you cannot leave
Perhaps the key you've kept ~ though it doesn't fit any lock you know
The photograph that keeps you sane
A ball of string to lead you out though you can't walk back into that light
In your bag, leave room for sadness, leave room for another language
There may be doors nailed shut ~ there may be painted windows
There may be signs to warn you to be gone
Take the dream you've been having since you were a child
The one with the open fields and the wind sounding

Mistrust no one who offers you water from a well, a songbird's feather
Something that's been mended twice
Always travel lighter than the heart

Guy Duperreault said...

Lauren, thanks for posting Crozier,s poem. I remember reading this a long time ago. It was delightful to re-read it.