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10:21 a.m. - August 14, 2008
Tomorrow morning I head to Wyoming where I will camp, hike, and kayak for a week. My first real, no-fudging vacation since - the two day road trip to Niagara Falls with my sister two years ago, or the week exploring the Outer Banks with Ken (gulp) five years ago. Take your pick but the point is the same: It has been too, too long.

No laptop. No cell phone. No toilets. No campground. Just a lake dotted with islands (hence the kayak) in the wilds of Wyoming. No people (please God, let me be alone). Just me and some books, gliding over still waters and looking up at the big, big sky.

I will swim by day and night. I will read poetry aloud to myself. I will at least once get up before dawn to watch the light over the water. I will breathe deep. I will not be lonely on my little island. I will try to leave me behind.

When I find the most remote place in this remote place, I will let it all out. Make some decisions. Scream, yes, scream. Purge every last bit and pick out the rubies from the bilge. Not save the sinking ship, but evaluate it. See what needs to be done.

I have flipped the coin and will see where it lands in Wyoming.

One of the poems - the one anthologized most often, and a staple from the time I used to give readings - ends with a susurrant Soon, Soon. An image of a young boy swinging his legs oblivious to the Bogeyman behind him waiting for the opportune moment to snatch, to vanish him. Soon that moment of decision, of consequences, of irrevocable changes. My cry of innocence lost, a ticking countdown. And yet - soon had not yet happened, leaving a window for something to happen, a different trajectory. My Soon has arrived. I have been afraid of yet longed for it to arrive, and now it is time to make decisions.

I am scared but confident, anxious but content, unsettled but peaceful, weary but feel the adrenaline cusp.


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