Life Along The Margins [Winter 2014]

March 12, 2015 § 1 Comment


T______ and I departed north on foot from a major city, about 13 miles, following the train tracks. Initially we found many established camps along the margins, resourceful peoples making due and living amongst the edge zones: nestled into treelines, camped along rivershores, tucked under bridges. Between cities and farms, industries and wildlands. All along the margins we saw many wild ducks, geese, turkeys. We saw some herons, some squirrels. Some raccoon tracks too. Transitionscapes, so many curious sites along the way. We named lands unmapped and unnamed to us: Fenbrook, Fengrove, Geyserhead. We broke camp beside what looked like a lake aside a large industrial operation, amidst many green grasses. A ladybug visited. Near dusk we heard a loud splash, and learned that many beavers lived here! Beaver Lake, we called our amazing find, cherishing wild secrets hidden away amongst the reeds. We foraged some leaves and roots of dock, and warmed cold hands by a tiny winter campfire. Worn from our trek, we took to slumber quick after nightfall, rising in the late eve for awhile to watch the beavers and geese play, listen to owl hoot, before falling back for longer slumber.

The next day we told origin stories for Owl, and for Beaver, retracing our steps while crafting new folklore. After walking a ways, I realized my canteen had fallen out. Dejected, I searched awhile, but could not find it. Back a bit, we found much dumped refuse, urban detritus, but sheltering beneath it, a tiny frog. I threw a tumbleweed down the hill with a smile, beside bushes and glass shards, shrubs and syringes. A bit later that second day R______ met up with us, and we three walked back to Beaver Lake, T______ and I with packs lighter, thankfully. With stunned surprised I learnt that a tree near camp had snagged my water bottle. Grateful, I stowed it with care. We three practiced archery against a green hill, with much horseplay. We saw a shopping cart buried in a creekbed, and remnants of ephemeral camps. A cold wind blew, tumbleweeds passing all the day. Puddles blowing away, but dew along the grass. Scarcity and abundance, wasteland and lushness, entwined, beckoning, dissolving distinctions, greeting the messy age to come. Life along the margins.

“…better lives have been lived in the margins, locked in the prisons, and lost on the gallows, than have ever been enshrined in palaces.” ~ “Purina Hall of Fame” by Propagandhi


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§ One Response to Life Along The Margins [Winter 2014]

  • jones says:

    This is lovely! Friendship, camping, refusing the sedentary life! Shine on brilliant diamond! This reminds me of some writing by Fanny Howe, whom I admire greatly, especially her book written from the point of view of a dog: “What did I do Wrong?” Keep Going! Never Give Up!


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