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January 24, 2021

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Dave Essinger on a winter liminal - no one knows I am here

For more information about "Bluffton Anthology" click here
Dave Essinger shares his experience walking in the Bluffton University Nature Preserve: Winter Liminal - No one knows I am here.

The snow in the fields is crisscrossed by finger-wide tracks, and otherwise pristine. One might imagine sticks dragged by wandering wraiths, absent-minded visitors from the other side, but with no other marks at all, at first I can’t guess what really made these traces.

Eventually it dawns on me that the tracks are made from beneath the surface and not above: mice moving under the snow. It’s another “other side,” a real other realm, and a reminder: not everything we register at the interface of our world originates there.

The mouse-trails wind and cross and begin and disappear, and show up in any depth of snow, but they never break the surface that I can see.

I imagine furry mouse-submariners pawing and digging, navigating by scent and temperature and pressure and dead reckoning, never breaching periscope depth. I wonder if lazier mice re-use others’ tunnels or, lacking that kind of foresight, they just go, honeycombing the snow, and with each new errand, extending.

We see only the most peripheral capillaries of a vast temporary circulatory network. Mouse-bodies moving like blood, pushed by the beat of a heart bigger than them, bigger than any of us. (this is a portion of his essay)

This is a sample of the content of "Bluffton Anthology - A creek runs through it." Copies are now available for $24.95 plus tax in Bluffton at:
• Roots by Strattons
• The Food Store
• The Black Lab
• Bluffton Senior Citizens Center
• The Dough Hook
• Polished