Vignettes

Force of Life

Dear bro,

… I’m not sure I understood what it meant to you to come out, despite all the beatings. Not until last fall when I took you to Kachina Village when your illness was getting worse.

I remember you walking slowly between the trees early in the morning, just a little away from our holiday cottage, as if you were feeling your way through the forest.

‘What are you looking for’, I asked?

Obsessing about our imagined native ancestry, like always, you looked back at me and said something about the native name for the village – kachina. I only remember this part, though:

“ … kachina has to do with the idea that there is life in everything in the world – rocks, trees, people. Everything has an essence or a life force, and we have to connect with that life force.”

“Or what?” I asked, in good spirits, because I had just made coffee, and you looked a bit comical out there among the pines in your bathrobe.

But then you looked at me in that strange way and said:

” … Or we die.”

And then I understood.

Next Step: Tomorrow

The waiting is hardest when it’s for that flash of inspiration that will lift you out of the morass and give you an idea for action. Action to change your life, create something moving and brilliant with your art and set some relationship right. Sometimes you feel it’ll never come. But something always comes, if you listen for long enough you always hear something. The trick isn’t getting inspiration but not forgetting it, because life stuff floods your attention and zaps your energy. I’ve often forgotten an idea for something really great I could do, something that would make a difference because soon after, you know, life happened. Then two days or two years down the line, when I’ve parked my car somewhere I can see the horizon and don’t want to drive home because home is chaos, then – right then – an old idea or inspiration rears its head, and I go home with a little more hope for tomorrow.

The Frozen Horizon

I went out from my rented room the next morning wondering where to go next. I didn’t want to leave the farm, but I knew that I didn’t really belong here. I stopped at a fence looking at the white plains stretching away toward the hazy mountains on the other side. The whiteness was newfallen snow with no features. It was as if there was nothing on that plain, living or dead. If I went out there, would I become part of the whiteness, too? Is that what my future looked like?

Waiting for the Update

I couldn’t escape into random news surfing this morning, because my iPhone had decided to run a half-hour long update so with “exciting new features to iPhone, including the ability to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a face mask, more diverse Siri voices, new privacy controls, skin tone options to better represent couples in emoji, and much more”. So I had no buffer between myself and the five zillion demands that assault me every morning from the moment I open my eyes until I close them, from kids to looking for a job to kissing my husband goodbye and pretending we still have some semblance of a romantic marriage. But once I was able to gulp down my first cup of coffee, my brain began spinning scenarios anyway for how I could get everything out of life before it was too late: make more money, make more love, make more art.