I think in threes. Derivatives of 3, groupings, words easily divided into three letters at a time. Maybe I’m OCD or maybe I’m driven by mastery, since the number 3 in spiritual circles of many faiths signifies the higher powers that steer us toward mastery in this world.

Except I am not the master yet. Each day, I step in that direction but I have not reached the point of knowing my calling, of hearing it in the night and letting it soothe me back to sleep.

Every day another face behind a smile with hesitation, an obstruction to the fairy-tale ’80s-movie dream of how it was supposed to be. I don’t think anyone plans a wedding with clarity. We waltz toward a dream on a path of soft petals that an hour later can be shaken clear and rolled up to put in storage.

Last night, I found kindred spirits and broken ones. Today, I write of the sea which I do not know. I imagine, because I am good at that and then I believe that because I know the words, because I constructed the image on paper, I lived it.

Is it the job of a writer to live in angst and then shout it to the world? What a cliche. I’m tired of walking the path alone. I’m tired of worrying about how it’ll all work out.

Many days I return to Dog Mountain and the Oregon coast, my bare feet cool on the gritty sand, the teeth of the waves tasting shore then leaving again. Many days I am as if holding my newborn son in the purple dawn as he sleeps perfectly beside my skin. Many days the tines of my fork tear into the soft white flesh of just-caught sauteed fish tossed in artichoke hearts and I sip my wine from grapes grown and pressed up the street and it is quiet and I am happy.

There is an answer. It may be held in the clutch of clouds over which I’ve crested on my way to a perceived destination and it may be buried beneath the mounds of snow in my backyard. I am certain it is self-evident if I can learn its language and only then will the arms of the dream unfold so that I can run into them.

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