TRENDS Diary: Mystery In Our Skin

Progress frozen by Coronavirus: The Warrior StoryField project’s team of war veterans and civilians have worked together for six years to build two huge steel sculptures in Niwot: A Dragon locked in an eternal stare with a Phoenix. Both are 18 feet tall.

TRENDS Diary, a project of the Community Foundation of Boulder County, is a place for Boulder County residents of all ages to share personal experiences that relate to a pressing community need. The focus, for now, is on our shared need to connect and solve problems, despite the increased isolation we’re all experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    TRENDS Diary: Mystery In Our Skin KGNU News

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Dear TRENDS Diary,

We’re on lock down. You know, the virus thing. Now, there’s lots of time to write. But I’ve been fighting the sadness of closing down our Warrior StoryField project.

We are a team of war veterans and civilians working together to build two huge steel sculptures. A Dragon locked in an eternal stare with a Phoenix. Both are 18 feet tall. Why? To tell the unspoken, even the unspeakables of coming home from war. We’ve been at it for 6 years now.

Isolate. Really? We need to be together. You know, like really be with each other. Talk, laugh, wonder, butt heads, pound stuff out.

Writing? No way! I haven’t been able to put two thoughts together for days.

Then comes a text with a tiny photo peering out from a tiny phone screen. Its a painting. A beautiful painting. A painting made by my brother. I open it up on a big screen. And pushing my chair back, I stare into it.

Behind me our hammers lay silent. Our torches unlit. There’s no questions hanging the air. Even the dust lays idle. Is this it?

There’s no one here.

So I turn to the painting and ask it:

Grasping the Wind, by Warren Bellows

“What do you have to tell me?

I’m not in my chair. I’m in the meadow by the screaming-dry bark of the ash tree. My skin is crawling. Its hot out here. So hot, my pores, like faucets, are drooling precious moisture.

I’m sitting in a field full of fuel. In the distance. A rushing flame. Its raw rage, sucking oxygen in. Breathing out, a black gray ash.

But what is this?

The grass beneath my hand is moist, soft, cool.

A comfort against the sky crackling with the sounds of shattering atoms.

Right now. Right now.

I’m laying naked in this grass.

Letting the whole of my skin,

The skin that makes me…me,

Roll through

Its moist fingers

Its hidden stickers

Its shards of sharp granite.

My skin, the skin that makes me…me

Merges with the skin of the meadow.

It speaks to me

We are not in a hurry

We need not run

We are the ants busy building our mound

We are the trees dried and chapped standing firm

We are here for what comes

We are the grass that laid our seed long ago

We are ready for this moment

We are always ready

We know what to do

We have always known what to do

We need not run

We need not run

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