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DIRECTIONS HOME: 1. Take a hard left and exit the idea that all will go according to plan. 2. Drive three quarters of a mile south toward the equator, which does exist, but you will never arrive there, yet bringing awareness to the fact of equator might disorient you enough to lose the belief that south is the same as down. 3. Merge onto the road that bears the same name as the road you are already on. There is no other road you are merging onto, but the maps here indicate that it does become a slightly different road, same name, same direction south, just slightly different in a way you wouldn’t notice if not for the directions to slightly merge onto the road you are already on. 4. Once merged, travel 23 miles further south. Take this time to adjust your posture, fiddle with the windows, turn knobs, press buttons, commit to the radio again, not the digital devices playing to your every whim, but the radio that is channeling someone else’s whims through the airwaves, into your car’s antenna, down into a box that transforms waves into music, news, commercials, sermons. Or turn the radio off. 5. Take the first right past the county line, onto a road that is nameless. The only sign to look for is the county line sign, which was struck by a truck two years ago, never replaced, and now leans over, making it harder to see until you are almost passed it, not to mention that this time of the year the vines have grown over the post. You will know it when you see it as long as you are looking for it. 6. Take the first right, travel 800 feet, pull over onto the gravel shoulder, exit your vehicle, watch for passing cars or tractors, cross the road, the ditch, the patch of ragweed. Tug at the low-slung barbed wire, step over, and enter the field. 7. Find the nearest oak tree, walk to where the tree’s shadow hits the ground, place your toes on the edge of the sunlit plank abutting the shadow, bend your knees, crouch low, dive high and swift, as if going for depth over distance, dive into the shadow, make such a small splash you can barely hear yourself now beneath the surface, the waters of this inland sea now surrounding you. Swim hard and downward until you can lose the belief that down is the same as south is the same as down. 8. Do not glance back, except once and briefly, glance back to see the flicker of sunlight against the tree’s shadow dancing down below here, dancing because of the wind rustling the leaves of the tree and splintering sunlight against the surface, dancing because of the rippling water, how the light and shadow diving down alongside you shimmer, break, and burst out in all directions. 9. Arrive at seabed. Dust off the top of the hatch and lift the handle. Let the water pass through, let it pour all around you toward the opening, let it pull you until you can’t withstand the motion any longer. Let go, step forward, take this moment to settle into this sensation that is both you moving and you being moved, that is you taking a step and the step taking hold of you, you being pulled through and down and out and up and through into the center once again. 10. Close the hatch behind you.
If you’re in KC and free on Thursday, join me for this panel discussion about my project Closure Is Not Justice. Also, there are still two Sundays remaining when the show will be open to the public between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. Hope you can make it!