One hardship of living without my parents is the pangs of regret which mark many moments of the day with uncomfortable barbs. finding a ball of wool from the shrug i began to knit for mom; donating the guitar i waited too long to send dad – if you live in this landscape with me, you know that anything and everything can be imbued with a glow of presence that is palpable.
this is not a feeling of nostalgia. in fact, it is the exact opposite. like a new human using her eyes for the first time, i see people, possessions, even thoughts which have been lifelong companions, from a perspective i never imagined. the full consequence of seemingly minor things is, at last, unavoidably clear.
what has happened is a birth of sorts. not in a good way that involves party hats, but not all bad either. another me has emerged, who wants to remember the way things were, and transform them into something entirely new at exactly the same time. i am motivated to keep working, keep scraping away at what i see, by fear; fear that this vision soon will fade, fear that i may squander the only ransom my parents’ lives could possibly purchase.
because, what is now obvious to me, is what my parents wanted me to know, all my life, with all their love: despite my hard headed arguments to the contrary, every molecule of my very life is beautiful and every moment, worth living.
How odd it is, honey, not in a bad way, to see in these beautiful photos scraps of our pasts, objects we treated casually but that are replete with meaning, perhaps from a time in our childhood that was happier than what we can remember. The Shakespeare you sent me. The War and Peace. This. I see this wooden doll, I remember the other two — this one was you, I think, the taller one Mom, the shorter one, shaped kind of like a perfume bottle, me. And all, I think, a joint craft project between Mom and Dad. What works of art. How amazing our parents were. And yet. And I cannot help asking if you saw the two others, too. Although I had forgotten they were even real. And in all her travels, she kept them with her.