4PM, I set out of the office and roll the windows down fast. The tops are already off the car and my sweater soon follows. Today there is nothing between me and the world.

The sun and wind share a nurturing caress. The trees bloom to perfection. The city breathes in carbon monoxide and still manages to breathe out a gasp of goodness for the glory of a sunny May day. I take a new way home, the Fenway to the Riverway to the Jamaicaway. The other cars want to nuzzle closer to my lovebug, but I dash off at every light, eager to walk in green.

A quick trip home to grab kw’s No Boundary and a colorful African blanket then its off to the space. With every home comes a space, some magical place within close walking distance where nothing exists but emptiness. Back at the Sugar Shack I had the swingset at the Armory, then on Benefit St. I would ramble up to the hurricane barrier to watch the storms come in. Here in Roxbury I have the zoo cages.

The abandoned zoo cages on the lost ghetto hill are my other, my death before life. Lying on my blanket in the cat’s den I fall in love with trees and rust and brokenness all over again. Green broken glass shimmers like gems. Graffiti-stained walls echo long-dead howls of frustration.

The cacophony of the city calls me. Meditating amid the noise cradles a consciousness of constant commotion. Horn, bark, engine, mating call, scream, siren, laughter. The witness envisions quiet focus. Wilber’s book chants that there are no real boundaries in the universe and my closed eyes can see my luminescent orb intermingling with the spheres surrounding this vast everything within nothingness.

As the sun disappears behind the stone wall I crouch on all fours ready to pounce on the world. We animals like to fantasize that we own reality. The cage bars pass on a passion for power that started long before our ancestors caged our other ancestors. I have the luxury of loving this prison because I choose to walk into the cages and claim them as my own. Freedom reigns supreme for the human-animal. The doors are open and nothing separates my wild spirit from the concrete, iron and stone.

Captivity is not an option.

The airplane growling thousands of miles overhead is but one innovation of victory and eventual consumption. Someday these cages will be bulldozed and turned into a skyrise palace fit for pampered royalty. The plentiful paupers living inside may never know about the bears, the cats and the one crazy chick that once called this palatial poke home.

As the crow flies off with a cackle I grab a fallen tree branch and head back for the comfort of my own padded cage a few blocks away. The neighbors smile as I walk past and casually ask why I’ve got a book and half a tree in my arms. I simply smile and tell them that it’s good to stay close to our essential natures.

We are all life, sometimes fallen or falling apart.

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