Take today to jot down five memories that
you would like to never forget about 2011
two days after george died, i walked outside looking for his naughty kitten brother, late, in the dark. i picked a pink flower from the cosmo plant standing tall in the night and made my way down the driveway to the spot where we found him. i found it easily, although i could see nothing. the stone we placed as his marker somehow reflected just enough light to guide me to it. i stood there, crying in the black warmth that is a july night and bent down to place a single bloom on the darkest spot, the stain of his blood. i stood there and let the breeze play over my bare legs, listening. holding my breath. hoping. of course, he was not there, and i do not believe in ghosts. when i turned to go back inside, there were fireflies everywhere, dancing in the darkness like stars.
i ran the uphill half of my path and it was a good run, i felt strong and sated, alive and oh so happy to be running again. it was a warm day, warmer than it should have been in autumn, but those have always been my favorite running conditions, and this day was almost perfect. no one else was on the path, it was me and the trees and the sun and the rhythmic sound of my own breath filled my head with a meditative calm. dappled shade, bright light, dappled shade, the pattern of my steps, the counting off of miles, the sweat that glistened as it washed away the stress. when i stopped to cool down and walk the last half mile, i heard a bird call that i recognized somewhere in the recesses of my mind, but at first, could not exactly place. And then i saw one, and then another, and then a flock. cedar waxwings, perched on branches like so many leaves. i kept walking quietly, smiling loudly.
an august afternoon in which i played hooky, sneaking out to sit in the sun with a book and a glass of wine, a journal and a pencil, words flying off my fingers like sparks. then sitting quietly, the sun on my face, birds chirping in the background, red-winged blackbirds especially, complaining of my presence. hot, hot sun, flowers everywhere, bugs and beetles and dragonflies buzzing all around, bare feet and the trickle of sweat. time hung in the air with nowhere to go, no place to be but there, in that moment, absorbing light and sound and heat and just a tiny bit of memory from carefree childhood summers.
a winter that would not end, hibernation becoming stir-crazy, cabin fever becoming nothing but the desire to feel the sun upon my skin. darkness that became too dark, all promises of light, broken. snow that piled on top of snow, no longer pretty and glittery and wondrous, just heavy and grey. grey on grey on grey. endless days of grey. days that turned to weeks and then months. the lack of contrast is what drives you mad.
an almost invisible shift in the night. hours spent with eyes wide open, the moon rap-tapping on dirty panes, a signal to the loneliness that is driven by insomnia. sighs and repositioning, sighs and thoughts of getting out of bed to do something, anything, at least write. imaginary whispers that say nothing, but keep me straining to hear. words that walk their way down empty hallways, peeking through keyholes, checking for just the right fit. this room is filled with sounds of love. this room is filled with heartbeats and the echoes of sobs. this room has stories of its own to tell. this room is more awake than i am.