A journal entry from March 2018.
My mom told me about a dream she had once, where she was hugging the moon. The moon, she said, was warm and bright. She described being cheek-to-cheek, wrapped in the glow of a lunar embrace, overwhelmed by pure contentment and peace.
When my dad woke her (for some trivial thing, I’m sure) she was angry.
I like to think of my mom as she was in her dream – content peaceful, glowing with cosmic energy. They say that in our most basic state, we’re all composed of celestial debris, ions and atoms cast off by the big bang. Maybe that’s where all our upward longing stems from, and maybe it’s where all of our mysterious bits scatter once this world is done with us. I kind of hope so.
I’ve been trying to find my way through all of this writing. I’m not doing much of it lately. I don’t feel like I’m doing it well, when I do, do it. I get the impression that my brain has been filled, like a hoarder’s apartment, my cranium stacked with nonsense, the refuse of pop-culture reporting, the tawdriest most trivial bits of ill-written blog posts. How do I climb that hill of garbage and stride down the other side?
In the afternoons I visit a little park I know and try to shake the computer out of my brain. I try to set a timer on my phone and forget about it. I let my thoughts slide along the shivering branches overhead, and my pupils contract or expand as the sun allows. Today there’s the sound of crusty leaves tickling the pavement and my elbows are cold beneath the bell sleeves of my business-casual blouse.
“It’s artsy,” Oscar said about the shirt as I stood contemplating it in the mirror, wondering, ‘Is this old looking?’
But I’m not preoccupied with age, only time – Time savored, time spent, time wasted. I’m worried about not being able to think through time or to own it as I’m in it.
This morning, on Facebook, my mom shared a video of a hummingbird that she saved from the cold. In the short clip, my dad holds the tiny bird in wonder. He narrates the how and why of the bird’s being there. The bird, for its part, is perched atop my dad’s finger, it’s wings beating fast but slow, still too numb for flight.
“He’s starting to warm up now, Nila, better get him outside,” my dad says, breathy in-between hits from the nasal cannula he now wears. It’s COPD NOT the cold that has immobilized HIM.
The bird, my dad, the sickness- It’s too easy to pluck pearls of meaning from the convergence of it all, so I try not to. I try instead to be grateful for this precious communication plucked from all the world wide web’s offering of space junk. And before I know it, I’ve written something that I don’t hate about people whom I love.
My dad passed away less than a month after I wrote this.