Walking down the street I usually think I know what I see. The houses are namable, their shingles their porches, their piles of junk and designer cars. But there are moments when the world lets you sink. A mile down from my house, near University, a central vein of Berkeley, a woman crosses my path to pass through a wooden gate to ascend the wooden stairs to cross through an anonymous door. The yard is a shadowed cavern with yawning oaks. And just like that the houses begin to speak. I feel their weight surround my body, like flashes of color through a thicket of leaves, all you know is something else must reside beyond. I pass each one, sitting mysteries lined up, meager hints of deep lives, intricate webs of relation that exist through each shingle, each porch, each lexus, each manicured lawn or forgotten patch of grass and dirt. They fall past me, rain drops I will never touch, each full and far away. I cross pavement, the sidewalk continues, and then here is mine. Yes there are shingles, peeling yellow paint, the oldsmobile, but overwhelmingly is the invitation, the opening, the knowledge of vastness, of the whole flower that exists beyond the color in the dark. This is a mystery I have begun to penetrate, whose edges exist beyond the façade, in the lines of faces, the gestures of friends, in countertops and crumpled towels, a mystery that tumbles, that I build and consume. I hop over the locked gate, walk the stone path to the kitchen and remove my shoes. I sing out loud to Sarah McLaughlan’s Building a Mystery as I fry eggs.