On the Appalachian Trail, somewhere in North Carolina. April 2013.
Letter No 2
You will face the indifference and the pretensionless beauty of the forest, it’s danger, it’s charm, it’s quiet. I can’t tell you, I can only show you. What I’m saying is you need guts.
Town. Town is a bad place where ex-girlfriends, lawsuits and whiskey live.
The real question is, whatcha know about brother love?
My brother, Francis, in Texas, September 2012.
There’s a brother I love beckoning me from the trail, from the mountaintops, and he says the woods are hard but not so cruel as reality.
In beautiful letters from faraway motels, he says I belong here, too.
I now know of a place where your lover is the sky and he, too, makes you feel small but not by robbing your self-worth.
Where your job is the miles and they, too, are long and hard but not counted off in minutes and dollars.
Where your home is the trail and it, too, costs you rent but without ownership— of you by contract or nature by you— and paid in blood, sweat and blisters.
I now know a place where you are loved, you have purpose, you are free. And it is not a place at all, but a trail, and it beckons to me.
He sent, “it’s a cruel, cruel world, and the woods are hard, but they’re a lot easier than reality.”