I stayed still
as I woke today,
hovering in that soft, grey ether space where waking up happens.
I thought about how life can so much be like
turning one's head to look at a snapshot.
a moment in time.
A smile, an expression of love, an act of anger, a parent, a friend.
and then you turn your head again
for a split second
and that picture is gone,
by a new one
a different moment
I decided to begin looking at those photos in my mind
and I wish I could show them to you.
I want you to see them, the filtered green light of the ones from when I was a very young child.
I want you to see the one with my mother making dinner in the kitchen with orange, metallic wallpaper.
I want you to catch the one of that moment outside when my dad was talking to the neighbor and slid me his can of beer for a sip.
I want you view the moment and to know the feeling in my little mind when he left our home with an army green duffle bag, for the last time.
I want you to hover in anticipation with me as my young sister and I awaited our mom's new friend to come to the door as we played toss-a-ring-around-a-daisy in the entryway.
I want you to hurt with me when you see the shot of when I rolled my sky blue 10 speed into the house next to the yellow couch where my mother lay, dying, to show her my new birthday present.
I want your eyes with mine as we look at a picture of when I lay on the bottom bunk of my sister's trundle bed, the light in the late-night hallway mocking the time, as the sounds of quiet-voiced strangers wheeling my mother's body out of our house.
When I look back,
the photo has changed again.
Time has moved.
I see a picture, no longer edged when white, tiny black numbers narrating the date,
but one where the picture goes all the way to the edge.
The corners rounded.
Turn. A new woman in our kitchen making a salad. Light easy banter with dad, and we girls standing around.
Turn. A surprise 40th birthday party for my dad, gag-gifts presented by his friends.
Turn. The house we moved into, big and beautiful on a sunny day. White curtains hanging in an empty room before our things made their entrance.
Turn. Yellow light on a September day, a wedding... So many people I don't know. A happy, confusing day for me.
I wanted the photos continue. Thy took me through the halls of my Junior High, showed me a moment when I got a locket from my 6th grade boyfriend, the day a student bounced a fish eye in science class, a fight with my 7th grade best friend when I threw her yellow jelly jacket into the hallway.
The pictures would have kept coming,
changing with the turn of my head
reminding me of my own, specific story. But for right now, I'll stop them there. Maybe later I'll go on.
I wish I could show these pictures to you, so you could feel my life.
Feel what it is like to be me.
You have photos too. Moments that are forever filed in your mind.
Have you looked at them lately?