6/6/00In the valley of the old monastery everything is still, awakening. It begins in the east: a slow wash of green graciously settles on the land. Earth’s yawning sends ripples everywhere, summoning signs of life. Inside the inner sanctum the graveyard stirs and stones peacefully stretch their new shadows. Even the afterlife awakens, an inanimate phoenix: a symmetrical something, two wings collapsed in repose. On the book’s folios are birds that interweave. A continuous knot of beaks and talons reborn from each other’s ashes. In the light of morning I have come to understand the intricacy of these animals, a web of resurgence. Two large crosses loom up between barbed wire. Sheep graze between angels engraved with “in Memoriam”. Perfect, You and I at the top of Glendalough. You flick a fly from me as I stare beyond the cemetery and out over the pasture. Fields link into filaments of perfect symmetry, ornate and spiraling.