It can hit you, it can hurt you
Make you sore and what is more
That is not what you are here for”
And I wonder what he must think. Some things stay the same(ish). The sun rises and everyone scurries around. Some days we’re all here, but many days, I bundle him up for the bus stop walk down the driveway as we call out, “I love you! Have a great day!” to the last leaver of the house – Scarlet. She doesn’t get embarrassed when I reach out my arms for her, or scream affections at her. Heck, she didn’t get embarrassed on Monday night when I dropped her off at a new friend’s house and started crying in their kitchen because I had had a horrible day, and earlier, Rider had jumped off the couch and hit his forehead on the coffee table. He was (mostly) fine, but I wasn’t. And if I hadn’t cried there in that warm kitchen, it would have been back in the car. I don’t know which is worse; for me, or for them. She wasn’t embarrassed. They were gracious. I was cleansed.
So I wonder what he thinks about the rises and falls of the sun and the moon and the stars; our tempers and our occasions and my emotions, and his. The new stretches and changes we both go through now, changing rapidly by the day. No one else changes at the wild paces we change at these days, him, a growing human. Me, growing another human. It’s wild, really, like all of the rises, falls, and rhythms. How sometimes, often, the sun shines through the smudged window, so brightly that it causes rainbows on the floor. Sometimes it’s black outside that same window. He doesn’t seem phased, and really, why would he be? It happens every day, twice a day, and we’re there for it too. It’s disorienting and maybe upsetting, to go down for a nap with the sun streaking onto the octopus crib sheets, and to wake up and it’s so dark he cannot see the trees.
Scarlet used to pipe up with one last question or comment, before falling asleep in her toddler carseat on our way home from a lunch or playdate. “Mama, do we use magic to make it dark at night?” I’d fumble over my answers. “It’s not us, not exactly. It’s the outside. It’s not the magic you’re used to, so much as the rises and falls of the night moons and morning gods, and the night gods and morning moons. The stars. Many beings play a part in sunrise/sunset theater.”
“What if one day, the magic that outside uses doesn’t work? Would it never get dark out, or never get light out?” I’ve had that same thought, so very many times. On the longest night of the year, Christmas Eve, the darkness wouldn’t leave. At least, not at first. I feared I’d never greet the morning sun and as an adult. I entertained the same thoughts many times over in my delirious, 2:00am breastfeeding sessions. “Shouldn’t the daybreak have greeted me by now?”
Beware of thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night”
How much of your life do you spend in those places between being asleep and being awake, beneath the sheets or dozing on the couch, in and out of dreams and waking life, and all of the places they meet in the middle? How much of your life do you spend in those places between darkness and daybreak, with the rises and falls, rhythms and dreams, confusion, disorientation, and creature comforts. It’s beautiful the things we dream and wake up to see, and the things we nightmare, and wake up to see are now gone. You’re only in the places between the sheets, the suns, and the moons. The deep breathing of the love of your life, who didn’t even wake up when you jolted yourself awake from a dream by a deep pregnancy snore. It’s not glamorous; in fact, it’s downright disgusting at times. And annoying. Yet the dogs and the owls and the rumble of the stove alerts you to all of the places in between. The sun and the moon and the stars overlap.
Beware of falling swingers
Dropping all around you
The pain that often mingles
In your fingertips, beware of darkness”
Cassidy has been watching The Beatles “Get Back” Documentary and I slumber through it; the best and maybe most starkly painful bits get into my sleeping and dreaming. I think about their story, their individual stories, and all of the rises and falls, and days and years, that make up that astronomically large composite. I think about our story, our individual stories, and all of our own rises and falls. Hope and light; love. Walking into weddings, and births. Walking into newness and healing, as well as oldness and sickness. With all that we dream, both sleeping and awake.
For him, perhaps, and at least not yet, it’s not a terrifying darkness. Maybe it’s more a comforting darkness, like a velvet blanket, washing away all the bumps and bruises and vulnerability of the open daylight. With the knowledge that seemingly endless darkness ends, and that inevitable light will rise. The thing is, it always did. I always do. Enough to make me never doubt it again.
Beware of greedy leaders
They take you where you should not go
While Weeping Atlas Cedars
They just want to grow, grow and grow
Beware of darkness”
Usually I’d put a video here, but can’t find a good enough one, and Eric Clapton’s soulful version of this song at the Concert for George was so dang good, but I just can’t with him right now.