Posted by: alegra22 | March 14, 2011

fade away

Tonight I slip out from beneath my husband’s arm and move through the shadows of our bedroom, my mind already turning sentences over as if looking for bruises or soft spots. I weigh the words. Toss them gently up in the air. Some disappear into the darkness, caught up by greedy stars wanting to have their say. Others fall back to me as I note these things: the smooth, clean floor against my bare feet, the efforts of my day’s scrubbing. I slide, shuffle, imagining I smell the hint of pine disinfectant. I climb onto the hard chair, its woven texture already imprinting my bare skin.  I turn on the computer.

It has been over three weeks since I have written anything and in those three weeks the earth has roared. The first time, I was left quiet for days. I went to sleep wondering what it meant to pray for people trapped in small spaces, above them the weight of concrete, metal, wires, desks, carpet, memories of standing in confidence on floors that would never collapse, gossiping and planning and believing that everything was under control.

What does it mean to pray? I didn’t know. So I imagined. I imagined it was me in that small space. And then, I imagined that I was more than me, I was a light moving through the darkness. I imagined that I could whisper into the hearts of strangers. I imagined that we recognized one another.  I whispered, “Don’t be afraid. Go in peace.” I imagined it over and over until I fell asleep and dreamt of walking over my grave – a field of wildflowers somewhere on the island.

Tonight, beneath my husband’s arm, I could not stop thinking of the ocean pouring into streets and the blurred image of a group of people standing on a rooftop as their world collapsed around them. 

 Someone I love dearly wrote me a letter that has been with me all day – she said that she imagined the flash of light that must have taken place, a light too brilliant for us to see, as so many souls left the planet. She said she had been focusing on that – the light. It has been informing her moments.

 And now it is informing mine, this realization that tonight I sit at the table, a contortion of limbs and creased skin and wild hair, smelling of baby oil and frangipani. Tonight, I made lunches for my children, proud that my son came home and declared that the yogurt I had packed him was delicious. Today, I knew my place completely as I hung out the laundry and heard my daughter wailing for me, terrified that she had lost me. I understood the importance of a moment when my youngest  gave me his first kiss. Tomorrow, the earth might roar. It might open up and swallow me in any number of ways.

There have been stretches in my past when the world has overwhelmed me and I wanted nothing more than to disappear, be absorbed by its beauty so that I could simply fade away from its horror. 

My children have rooted me so deeply in this life that I am no longer afraid of anything but my inability to protect them from suffering – and for that, for all of the things I can not control, I surround them with prayers, with the faith in those final moments of light.

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Responses

  1. damn woman, you just slay me every time

    • xxxxxx

  2. To find the beauty in the despair is truly a gift. Thank you for sharing how you got there.
    Deborah
    PS- I know that light. It is good.

    • So sorry it has taken me until now to respond. I loved this “I know that light. It is good” haunted me (in the best possible way) and stayed with me for days.

  3. […] in one way or another, we are all connected, that our smallest actions have an effect, I come upon this piece of writing by Eros-Alegra Clarke. Read it. How I see it, she writes about the intense internal effects of a cataclysmic external […]

  4. Beautiful. Amazing. As always…

  5. […] Another way to pray. […]

  6. this is really beautiful. and filled with such hope. thank you. 🙂

    • Thank you, Nicole. I am so glad it gave you something!


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