August 26, 2010


It's 2:00 in the morning and I'm tired and my eyes are burning but I want to keep reading and reading and not have to come up out of the story at all. I wish I could fall asleep reading and wake up there, instead, into a world where my babies didn't die and my parents loved me and no one, none, dared lay a finger upon me to do me harm. Or, even if bad things did happen, it could somehow be undone, or such great good could come afterward that it would hardly matter anymore; and I could be half-mad with happiness, instead of grief.

I've been told, by more than one person, that I will have my happiness. That the things I've dreamed of will be attained, even if a little later than I'd hoped, even if not in the order that I'd planned. Sometimes a hopeful, undamaged fragment of my soul believes it. Mostly I just feel wistful at these words. Mostly I think: Ah! That is kind. But you do not know. None of us can know.

None of us can know.


My knicks and scrapes of the day are stinging, my feet are very cold, and I cut my left big toenail too short. It is sensitive there. My back is full of twists and knots again already, though I spent over an hour in the afternoon lying flat on my yoga mat with soft music playing, thanking as many parts of my body as I could think of by name, one by one by one. By the time I had finished, I was so relaxed I could hardly stand, nor remember why I ought to.

I am calm, I am relaxed, I am calm...

I am sore, and I am weary, and I crave rest in the most profound sense of the word. I long for protection and for comfort. And yet it occurs to me, and I must mention, amidst all this -- I still feel pretty. Simply, unabashedly. Can't escape the feeling, these last fews days, incongruous as it seems. Ever since that little girl, with her selfless declaration. She has eclipsed every other voice that ever spoke those words to me. Hers is the one that has mattered most. Perhaps because she caught me unawares, in a moment when I was feeling anything but lovely. And perhaps because she was so wonderfully, strikingly, vitally present in that moment, it leant her an authority that no one else has thus far had. "You are really beautiful." Full stop. Fact. Straight to my heart. And I'll never see her again. She'll never know she changed my life that day.

Her mother and brother were embarrassed, would not meet my eyes. I wonder how she got to be in that family. I wonder how any of us got to be in the families we are in.


"Perhaps I was born different. Or made different by the parents who raised me," said George honestly. Did anyone ever know why he was the person that he was, animal magic or no? "Perhaps I also made myself different, because I wished to be," George added after a moment. --Mette Ivie Harrison, The Princess and the Hound


You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife.


  1. Beautiful. That first paragraph had me in tears. Oh, yes. How I wish.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. My heart breaks for you my friend. What a beautiful post from a beautifully strong mother. They are smiling down on you - Ailis & Noah know they are loved...I pray we will all have our happiness... <3