I got lost in a desert once.
We’d not brought a compass and the shifting dunes were indistinct, impossible to memorize or understand.
We found an edge, a pattern of cacti and succulents, and traced our way back to somewhere stable.
As I reached the bus, I thought of snow.
They don’t find all the bodies up North.
With the shifting snow blinding vision and sense
You can go in circles, never more than a half-mile from the road,
Or you can veer into impossible distance.
Both are effective burials.
When the landscape changes beneath your feet,
Before your limited vision,
Direction and time become meaningless distractions.
It is the stories we tell ourselves that save us-
Silly songs about the trees we pass, the water we cross-
The pattern of dying plants at the edge of infinity.
The ghosts at the edges of death make great stories and memories
Memories and stories make interesting and useful companions.
For more intertwining moments of memory and story, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.