I have been graceful. My ankles are delicate, and they move me from here to everywhere. This freedom of movement is what I will miss when I am not here anymore. It has helped me escape from dangers, made me feel clever and supple and capable. When others saw me as moving, I saw myself as skipping and dancing. I see better when I am moving, and become aware of my surroundings, as I must leap over some things, under others, and around anything in my way.
If I am still, I lose sight of myself. I often go to a reflecting pond, and use it as my metaphor for a quietness that I can’t achieve on my own. In the moonlight I can see myself in the water and I become it, and its depth and containment become me. I search for myself inside it, as if it were a seeing stone. I never felt part of the many goats I ran with, and our rhythms were different. They plunged forward, while I didn’t even know what forward was. What is here that I will miss? What still unknown will I miss when I am gone? Oh, I know. I know. It is the joy of discovery along the way to a “where” I didn’t know existed. I don’t want to be still, to have no new thing around me. I’m not ready to give up my leaping and prancing. Help me please. I’m not ready. It hasn’t been enough. I’m not willing. Not yet.
I have convinced my friend Francine to let me post her piece, “The Dying Mountain Goat.” Few pieces of writing have commanded my admiration as this one has, and not because Francine is in her ninth decade or because this is her first venture into creative writing, but because it is wonderfully conceived and wonderfully written.