Unsolicited Survey

Unsolicited Survey

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Have you been there?
If so, can you describe the shape of the shadows?
When you entered, did anyone greet you?
Did the moss hug your foot or a jay screech in your ear?
Were you afraid you would not get back?
Did they ring a bell?
How many times, and what did it sound like?
Did a horse bow its head by the side of a road?
Did a single feather lie at the clearing?
Did a green wave cascade into a grove?
Did the flavor of light infect your sleep?
Did a toad leap from the dust onto a twig?
Did deer turn in terror as you passed?
Did a doe lick your hand and find you wanting?
Did you behold a flower that cannot fade?
Was the sky so empty that you fell upward?

Did the needles of a pine tickle your nose?
Did you sniff the ghost of the cedars of Lebanon?
Did you follow a petal blown to the edge of the sea?
Did you wake with a sheet twisted around your throat?
Did you call out?
Did you kneel at a blade of grass or at the mound of an anthill?
Did you ask for a way in or a way out?
Did a bough sway imperceptibly?
Did you rest your hand on the shoulder of a god?
Did you open a piece of fruit and offer a portion of it to the sun?
How long did it take to finish, and were you satisfied?
Did a fly sip some water from a stone?
Did you touch the haze on a plum, its blue cloud?
Did you rub its skin until it lost its bloom?
Did the day burn in a crow's eye?
Were the stars so clear another heaven appeared behind them?
Did you hear the wind consoling the leaves?
Did you look inside the cap of a mushroom, and part the curtain of disbelief?

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Onwards,

Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editorial Director and Publisher, The Nation

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