it sounds more like a platitude than a prayer. But I do hope you’re well, separated as we are by mile markers and painted roads, oceans, craggy mountain ranges, lonely plains. Well. do you hear the longing in that? the lingering l’s? I wish I knew what you looked like now, though I don’t want you to see me. I’m learning a lot about myself, too much to say or summarize into sentences. I wish I could show you my mind. (I wish I could see my own mind.) I am thankful for borrowed words, for words written online and in journals, in the margins of used books. Thankful for words that resonate, the ones that leave residues inside my heart. (I come back to them.) Thankful for sentiments about silence because I too find myself unable to utter any noise. Understand me. I grow scared to spill words onto pages, each letter like a grain of sand or soot dragged and dropped across the wide expanse of white. The sky, too, is always white here. It’s hard to look up at it and wonder if the sun you see, that lone star, looks the same where you are. And the nights are dark and rainy; there is no moon. I’m growing here, learning here, sharing stories with strangers here. More listening than talking, I think. Speaking in silences… like I do to you. But I hope you’re well. I really do.
some thoughts I listed from January 12th:
- There’s something endearing about the way my sister reaches her fist into the box of plain cornflakes before she leaves for school in the morning.
- in forests, in gold streams
- Why hasn’t he replied?
- flowers strung along a wall. cracks in the pavement.
- I want to create.
- What do I look like to other people?
- First impressions (to write about later)
- I’ve been thinking in pictures more than in words lately
is that how we all think?
i think so.
- I really miss them.
- the clouds look like purple elephants.
- how much of my sister’s life am I missing?
- My hands smell like clementine.
The two sat on the wooden stairwell and watched the orange glow of the portable furnace, stretching their legs. In the stillness, she could feel her dad’s breaths rise and fall against her shoulders—up, down, up down, the rhythms of solitude. Her heart ached and swelled into her throat, but she did not know why. Do people age silently? She felt that her thoughts were like a black hole, spiraling into invisible possibilities and unknowns, and it was only the up-down-up-down of her father’s chest that kept her connected to the world outside her own.
They spoke without speaking, exchanging feelings and disentangling misunderstandings—two hearts that beat: up, down, up down.
Mornings here: spicy ginger,
the color amber dropping down a scratchy throat,
snowflakes melting off blue glass,
blurry breaths, heart-longings,
There are new mercies that did not exist in the dark cover of night, new beginnings for the thoughts that ran rampant and tangled themselves in the cold bedsheets wrapped around restless limbs.
It’s getting dark, too. I am outside, while everyone else is inside. I keep looking around wondering if there is anyone else who enjoys the rain like I do. Sometimes cars drive past, and their headlights expose me–just a strange, small girl walking with her palms open, the street water glistening on her bare toes.
When I walk back inside, I will look at my palm and try to count the raindrops. But there will only be a puddle. I wonder if I am learning something right now, if all the little particles and experiences and situations of life come together at the end to form one big… what? Right now I will just let the water tickle my skin. I wondered this morning if the rain was God spitting. Or crying. Maybe the angels were taking a shower or having a water fight in the heavens.
Down here on earth, the rain makes me happy and thoughtful.
There is something about the mountain air that makes me come alive. Something about the songbirds. Something about the invisible rain.
Mornings are best spent alone in reflection. Let your skin breathe and soak in the glittery sun. Let it feel the papery leaves spilling their sweet drops of dew onto the heavy, dark earth. I am thankful for the new mercies of this morning. Thankful for the silence and the solitude.
Time seems to slow here, and I wish not to disrupt my peace with my thoughts, which are often so bound to yesterdays and tomorrows.