At a roadside crystal store, I meet with an aura reader who tells me my “female and male sides” are essentially the most balanced she’s ever seen. I really feel it once more, that sense of passing after which transcending passing — and, since I do know that being seen is a alternative, I take a danger and inform her what I’m right here to do. Does she have any concepts about the place I can scatter my mother’s ashes?
She closes her eyes, telling me to shut mine, too. After a second, she asks: “Your mother favored views, proper? Perspective?” That phrase — Mother’s countless chorus — shivers by way of me. Later, after I name up the babysitter who accompanied us on that first journey, a girl I’d not spoken to since I used to be 10 years previous — who knew me in one other physique, and but this identical physique — she is going to inform me that we had, in actual fact, stopped in Sedona. Mother had beloved it there, she is going to say.
The physique remembers, even when the thoughts doesn’t. When the aura reader suggests the Airport Mesa mountain climbing loop, often known as Desk Prime Mountain, I don’t hesitate. I’m to search for the timber with knotted roots. They’re an indication of being close to a vortex, the reader says, highly effective locations the place the earth’s power swirls like a twister. Sedona, like Cairo and Stonehenge, is understood for them. Individuals describe feeling a way of peace, goose bumps, tingling — even toothaches. She tells me to take heed to my instinct, my “female aspect.” I’ll know what to do. “You’re effectively balanced,” she jogs my memory. Am I ever.
I arrive close to sundown and climb a rocky path with extraordinary views of the crimson rocks and desert beneath. There’s a heat to this place, a sense of expanse and pleasure, a sensation of shedding pores and skin. I’m largely alone and, as I stroll alongside the aspect of the mountain, I breathe. The air is comfortable on my face, the wind grazes my arms. I make my strategy to a juniper tree. “You solely stay twice,” I believe.
I pour the ash into my fingers. The bone is cool. I now not really feel squeamish as I throw huge palmfuls of the ashes across the tree, till the branches and roots are white with them, till they’re lodged deep into the crevices of my knuckles and nail beds, portray my fingers chalky white. For an hour, I sit and look out over the panorama till I really feel prepared to depart.
I take into consideration what led me to this place — my instinct, a pure and felt sense of historical past that defies the neat, backward-looking narrative of linear reminiscence. My instincts animated by the lives I’ve lived, all nonetheless current, all nonetheless inside me.
As I drive again by way of the forest, heading north within the gathering darkish, I brake for a doe standing in the midst of a mountain street. I breathe onerous as she stares at me peacefully, then bounds again off into the crimson rocks. It hits me: My physique, this miracle, had remembered. As I throw the automotive into gear, I discover that my fingers are now not white. The ashes have disappeared, as in the event that they had been by no means there. My mom was right here, and now she is gone — absorbed into my physique, this physique she knew even when she couldn’t bear in mind, this physique she gave me, this physique I gave myself, this physique that can even return to the earth in its personal good time.
Set design by Piers Hanmer. Picture assistants: Xavier Muñiz, TK Kim. Set assistants: Neda Mouzayanni, Joseph Bell, Louis Sarowsky. Manufacturing assistant: Ryan Riley