The Physical Good

My 13-year-old’s wild to travel. I see in her eyes, in her schemes, as she wonders where her life will go, which way she can push her boundaries. I understand this sentiment. At 22, I gave little thought to a 9,000 mile cross country trek, save swapping a gas-fueled Toyota for a diesel Rabbit. This was during the first Gulf War, when the price of gas soared.

But now? Maybe it’s the early onset of snow that’s choked so much of Vermont’s roads or — more likely — simply that I’m at the place in life where I think, heck, remain rooted. Figure out this one particular place.

Walking after dark — darkness falls so early, early these days, before I pull out my cutting board to begin preparing supper — I think of Chris Hedges’ line: faith is the belief that the good draws to it the good. I read this good as a verb and not a noun. What a notion — that goodness is a physical force in the universe. I know violence begets violence, that using drugs leads to more drug use, that civility in a house tempers anger, knocks down the edges, and bends dialogue towards decency — and that the inverse of this is true, too.

On our back porch, the wind chimes call in a scatting of cold breeze this morning. Later, in the rising light, cardinals will appear, flashy red against all this white.

IMG_4065

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s