Weaving ASHES (2012)

My children open their arms and my hours go diving in.

This love is a gamble of amnesia; what moments will they remember? What moments are carried away like ashes? As light that has flared and gone? What burns?

Some of my memories are a favorite garment worn threadbare. I have a collection of them from between the ages of 3 and 8.

The smell of lilacs on a sprawling summer day in the graveyard that I roamed as a child in Ithaca. The cool slick of a green snake slipping through my hands. Gravestones warm in the sun. Grass dew-damp beneath my bare feet.

Learning to swim, after a summer at ballet camp, making up stories about HOW I could swim (but absolutely could not), my legs dangling, the dark lake yawning beneath me, clinging to an inner tube.

And then on a hot day smelling of sheep shit and fried foods, my grandma led me through a festival to a redwood hot tub and I climbed in. Somewhere between the bubbles and the warmth, I learned to float.

It just happened.

Every day, I wonder what fabrics of memory my children are weaving. When they are away from me, I feel the pull of it in my body, and that is when I grab for my threadbare and favorite memories. The ones that flared and did not fade away. They remain bright without burning. They are moments of solitude. Moments when it is clear that the divine was the dealer of threads and experience. In those vulnerable moments, the divine wove its presence bright, wild, and unmistakable.

At night, with small fingers curling against my palm or foot shoved into my armpit, a head on my belly, the sweet scent of exhaustion and a stilling of minds. The rising and falling of their surrender into sleep.

At night, I stop worrying over the fabric of the day, of it’s flares or burns, and I fall into our beginning.

A language of ancestors, blood, DNA, growing heartbeats, flutters of limb, bubbles of swimming and flips, growing into an intimate bone against bone, a bladder-pressing knowing of one another.

And now, here they are.

Tangled, exhausted, my mind restless, I imagine the love that sometimes feels it will not be contained, moves through me into them. I imagine that love falling down over them, soft threads of indestructible love. Threads for the tears of experience we all must sustain.

I feel the brightness inside me, the truth that even ashes carried away are not forgotten or misplaced.

There is no amnesia in love.

No gamble.

No garment woven carelessly.

No light lost.

No eternal burn.

No tear that can’t be rewoven in love.

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