Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Iron and Wine, The Shepherd's Dog

Yes, it is romantic to think this way of the past. Over and over I click repeat on Resurrection Fern, to keep me walking through the field behind the barn. I am surveying the bowing backs of the yellow grasses, which are still cowering as if their keeper Snow could return at any moment. I am a child; I have no words for this rapturous sea of submission. But I feel the kindness building in my belly, and hear the matches shake in my brother’s pocket.

We use rakes to heave the limp bodies of the pasture’s pensioners into a soft pyre, tucking the swollen pin-head heat of the matches into the dark arches between their bent limbs. We drag the fire like we had seen our parents do each spring, and while it spreads we can almost sense the grateful green babies beneath our feet. The slow sweep of freedom takes us into its rhythm, promising us lush new beginnings, each fresh stalk a backwards spike of our good intentions.

Pinecones talk when they burn. They chatter and hiss at the bark at the base of their mother trees. Did they tell her to run? Did they whisper ancients methods of acceptance? Did they pop and spit love you love you, you made me I am your praying child my bleeding sap blood of my blood love you love you?

We nearly burned the forest down that day. But since I have let the songs move on, I can now stand amidst the aftermath, blackened head to foot and staring at my bewildered brother, who is staring at me, too.

I love this album because it dissolves me into the sticky beauty of my history, when there was no difference between the pulse outside and the one driving my heart. Already it’s Flightless Bird, like longing without pain. And there I am, back in bed on a winter’s morning, listening to the chickadees calling to each other, pinball love songs in the empty air. And I understand every word.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is just inexpressibly beautiful. love it.