Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake has been on my list, a nature thing to do, a sacred wildness, and bridge between Louisiana and Texas, the origin and ongoing story of Arthur. I put more fine a point on it than him.

“Do you feel more Texan or Louisianan?”

He looks pained. His years at Oberlin explain him better, though here we remain, trying to win hearts and minds, failing that, be thorns in sides, while not sacrificing our sanity.

It’s only sour grapes, besides. Real America will get you every time.


 

The market is a barrage of stars and bars, crocheted dishcloths and creepshows.


 

Arthur wants to buy all the Confederate flags—there are many—and burn them in the parking lot.

I don’t want to get shot.

China will only send more.

Not like we’re looking for our place in all this.

We came for the moss, herons and egrets.

The magic.

The muck, like it or not.

Long limbs stretched into mystery.

All the knobby cypress knees hyper-driving pareidolia as we paddle through.

Wizards and druids, Wise Men and sheikhs, mourning mothers and Madonnas and fertility goddesses, witches and warlocks, goblins and trolls, holding parliament, court, sacrificing babies, Canterbury Tales meets Midnight Societies, seances and wailing for the dead.

Every gathering offers a new story with endless variation and in the end it’s all the same.

We’re doing it wrong. We’re screwing this up.

Hard not to blame the wistful anxiety on bingeing S-Town the previous day, driving to our campsite, snug in our tent. But the feeling persists.

How deep our environment shapes us.

The human heart’s a bleeding mess.