It’s a wonder to be let down when we’re sad and let up when filled with joy. Heavy is something we can definitely measure. Greater the grief, higher the number on the scale, while lightness is harder to grasp. The greater the joy, the more elusive, unmeasurable, fleeting. Our feelings of joy seems to evaporate while our grief adheres to gravity, weighing on our shoulders. Lovers, hang on to your joy. May it last and fill you up like a balloon that you tie onto a child’s wrist.
Lucas holds my face in his small hands and tells me I’m his best friend, his sweet heart and his everything. He tells me he has hearts and flowers for me everyday. Always, always be with me, he says. And at night he tells me never to leave him, to always lay next to him. He tells me he had a bad dream that he was alone, trapped in a chocolate factory, of all places. Chocolate is his favorite thing, and still he emphasized that I wasn’t there. I hear this now, and I realize he’s had these feelings for a long time. Probably since he was born. This fear of abandonment or fear of being alone. He’s three and now able to articulate his thoughts very well, and he tells me he doesn’t want me to leave his bedside.
I think about those early days and months when all I ever wanted was to get away.
Now I let him sleep in our bed, wedged in between my husband and myself in our crowded queen mattress with two cats. I stay with him at night until he falls asleep. And when he calls me in his sleep, I run to him, so he knows he isn’t alone, not for a second. And in the morning, he can always have his glass of chocolate milk.
I take a break from reading, On The Road, and look up from the pages. I, too, once wanted a life where I can just pack up a bag and jump on the road without a plan. Now, my life cannot go a day without planning. My thumb between the pages, contemplating whether to go back to reading or to go to sleep, my eyes land on Lucas’s wooden cube learning center. The one where each side presents a different puzzle, instrument, or beaded wire roller coaster. It’s probably due to our fireplace, but the colors painted on this box never looked so vibrant. So rich and saturated. And so my eyes wander to the rest of my living room to notice the light from the fire bouncing off of all his toys like sparkling jewels. In the beginning, I dreaded filling our house with such colors. But now, the toys seem to blend into the room. Embedded within the sofa cushions, peeking from under the credenza. Piled high in a child’s treasure box. Continue…
My Dear Lucas,
I don’t know what took me so long to write to you. I’ve had this plan to write letters to you from the day you were conceived. I’ve been carrying you for almost twenty five weeks now and it seems as though I am just barely ready to tell you what’s been aching my mind.
Every time I fall asleep into that Land of Nod, I trip back into my seat on the coach bus back to Amsterdam. It is impossible to sleep erect on these seats that can incline but only when there is no one behind me. Every seat is filled and dark. Everyone silent with their eyes closed. A cough, a rustling and squeaking of seats. Blue lights aglow above their heads, except for mine is a bright halo of white above my knees where my notebook and pen lay waiting. There’s no where else for me to look. The window beside me is dark with miles of country side and outside the lights in the distant no more than the fading twinkling stars in the sky. My own reflection glares at me in that glassy black void. It’s rude to stare.
Out of a kind of smoke that dreams seem to conjure, the invisible kind that blurs people’s faces and names of places, I recall an incident, told by Grandmother. Told so many times, that I can almost remember myself. When one cold silent night, still bundled tight in a pink cotton blanket, I cried out and woke my sleeping family.
A golden leaf flutters down beside me onto the table and I pick it up to discover a pale yellow shell of a spider. Hollow and transparent. Beside it, a filmy drop of web still holding onto its leaf and the spider’s carcass from which it was spun.
I think about how everything is like something else. How my stories will outlast me. That our web is stronger than we are. So it is no wonder how long and arduous the task to write a story. And is it really ever done?
And how lovely to think that these stories we spin are the means to carry us through.
I learned how to ride a bicycle in Alaska.
It was a warm summer day when I got my first bike. Turquoise and pink. And a hot denim outfit to go with it.
“Where are my training wheels?” I asked Grandpa. My younger sister had training wheels on her new bike.
“Yumi is still a baby. You’re all grown up.” I was six. I’d never ridden a bike before then.
There’s a pencil in someone’s neck. Read what happens next in my flash fiction story under 800 words.
Go to Literary Orphans now.
Thanks for reading.
What if we got this life thing all wrong?
What if all this fighting, debating, hating and killing isn’t part of the deal? That all this ugliness is a part of human nature and not in the nature of God?
What if we’re confusing ourselves with God, applying our feelings with His feelings, our understanding with His meanings and getting it all sideways, backwards, twisted, wearing our entrails on the outside.
What if the most ugliest side of ourselves, the prideful, arrogant side of ourselves is the side that sides with God? With our Savior’s sword and our armor of righteousness. What then?