By Katherine Gotthardt Love sometimes requires retreating, backing up, reversing the pace that brought us into spaces where nothing was ever comfortable, no memory or seat we could share, no reserve preserved for those worst hours, the ones torn from the unpredicted twister, devouring everything we believe we had built, only to discover it was sand. That’s when we know it’s time to go, return to the shelter of durable, those deceptively thin walls, hardened by the elements, tightly woven rooftop impermeable to hail. That open door looks smaller now, archway lower than we recall, but inside is all that matters. Step in and close to the fire tended. Note the shelves, the simple stock of everything really needed, and the uncanny feeling that still, we are recognizable. Come, pull a bamboo chair up to the makeshift table. Tell the air of ages past how transition always hurts, lines blurring between coming and going, moving forward and backward, without distinction, without definition. Lay your head on your arms, and rock yourself into soothing. Wrap yourself in silence. Embrace everything that is empty.