How long I have fought against the grain,
against my natural rhythm
my internal clock ticking
counter to everyone else.
As a child, I wanted to sleep
but my father
and the sun (streaming through windows)
had other plans,
banging and clanging,
the beat of cutlery disentangling itself
for a breakfast ready too soon.
As the mother of a young child
I adjusted to the quick beats of another’s heart
up early to greet new adventures
while I, groggy, still clung to dreams,
straggling along in his wake and, finally,
ready for the requirements of school.
There was, I think, a brief interlude,
between childhood and parenthood
I wound my own watch
set time to my own desires
late classes and jobs and evenings under dancing stars…
And now I find myself unclaimed
in a strange undetermined no man’s land
between two rhythms,
my beat discordant,
not quite my own…yet.
But the possibilities of time – my time –
stretch before me.
tripping, over-spent; some days
this life strikes too fast.
He’s struggling, stretching between the little boy he’s been and that older person he can see in the distance, the shadow of himself he thinks he’d like to be.
Already he’s rebelling, fighting against the life he has, asking for something different, though he’s not sure yet what that something might be.
Tonight I found him separating his belongings: things to keep (books, achievements) things to discard (Lego, costumes). Resolute, he grows the one pile, the discard pile, faster than the other.
When I ask if he’s sure about this item and that, he gives me that look, the one that tells me he has been sure for some time, for as long as I’ve pretended time was standing still, for as long as I’ve tried to believe things will never really change.
Now I can see it coming. That moment he eventually casts home into the discard pile, when life for him consists of some hitherto unknown collection of not-home items, when the past remains and he is gone.
And so tonight, when he asks me to snuggle instead of reading to him, when he asks me to warm him up, I climb willingly into his soft, dimly lit world and hold him tight. When eventually I extricate myself, insisting it’s time to sleep, I do so wondering why I didn’t just stay the whole night.
Here I am
this is it
my today, my moment
I look down at my feet
(shoes on ground)
remind myself that
I am here
to stop dwelling in the past
where yearning hearts become lost
in limbo, aching
for memories sweeter than truth.
I try not to look to the future
it cannot be managed
it’s not mine
I am now.
Now is that future of my dreams
and that past of longing
in this now
I have all of it
all at once.
Though now may not always
it is where I am
It is what I have —
vanilla sugar on sour berries,
the earth, or the stars,
on which I stand
(I look down again,
shoes on ground).
The best I can do
is give in
stretch out my arms
close my eyes
breathe deeply and
let myself go
let myself fall into now
fall into me.
We stand at the edge of time, reaching from mist to sky.
We neither bow nor judge; we observe, exist.
Moons rise, suns set, the universe unfurls in its timelessness.
We are all time and no time.
Time is yours, not ours.