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  • Writer's picturecherylmurfin

41. Parallel City

The following 10 posts flow from reflections, events and travels between the end of the Camino in Santiago and my January return to Methow, WA, where our journey toward, on and beyond the pilgrim road began.

One of the shrines along the route across Spain

Parallel City


Between the two of us

Lies a long list of near misses

A parallel city of almosts and could haves


Some are stories we tell:


The bearded man in a forest chasing me as a child

Your accident on a sled in Central Park

The train that crossed the bridge at 9 am instead of noon as I sat fishing with my grandpa

Jew-hating teens on a snowy mountain pass

My starving adolescence and broken knees

Your two back surgeries and spinal meningitis

Our many broken hearts

The overdose I took to be dramatic

HIV that missed us both despite the '80s

The cancer that later didn’t

The neck you broke surfing

The skull I fractured on hard-packed snow

Childbirth and malaria and dysentery

The poison I inhaled in hopes of hearing God


Some stories we never will tell. How could we?


The motorcycle brushing too near your bike that you didn't feel or even notice

Rat-bitten wiring in the walls of my first studio

The bridge railing I just missed while driving in a rage

A dozen snow blind moments

Airplanes we rode that were not attacked and did not crash

Viruses and bacterias and flus that never found us

that havent't killed us

One step left off the edge of a cliff on a mountain hike

The rabid dog that bit but didn't break skin

The tree felled by a crazy harsh wind

A jar of aging jam with a broken seal we almost served with toast

The tainted Tylenol that didn't make it to the drugstores we used

The drugs we didn't take even though we were curious

The victim I didn't become when the Green River was floating bodies


A series, these lives of ours,

And this, our life together,

Of near misses;

Of almosts and could have beens


This is the miracle, you see:

That we are here today;

That we are still here;

That we are here at all.

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maryyglesia
Feb 06, 2019

I particularly like this drawing. I don't usually spark to crosses but the festoons of yours tell a different story. To me it seems the crucifix of suffering is over-shadowed by the hopes, dreams and anticipations of the pilgrims who shed their pain on this path.

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