it’s just a story.

I wrote this s few years ago but couldn’t post.  Now, I will.


it’s just a story.

have you ever been hit by a truck?

i was. fortunately, i am still alive.

unfortunately, i still relive the impact every once in a while.

it’s not the first time i’ve been hit. but still, it hurts like hell. i lost something in the accident. sometimes i want to believe it’s still there. my phantom limb. that hurts like a mother fucker too. i hear that pain will recede. i hope so. i am not always strong when i need to be.

i learned something. the difference between cannot and will not. will not is a conscious decision to do or not do something, what that something is, is irrelevant. cannot is usually the cop out for will not. cannot is the hiding behind some force or power that you believe is stronger than yourself. cannot is the conscious decision to remove yourself from responsibility as as if the choice was never yours.

a different accident.

remember when you were six years old? coming home from school and seeing daddy drunk, sitting on the hallway stairs? again. and you tried really hard not cry, because he got wicked angry and would hit you. but you cried anyway. but you promised, daddy… you promised. i think he felt a little bad. at least at first. he made me sit on his lap. and i’d be crying hard by now. he said he couldn’t help it. and once he finished the bottle, which was closer to him than i would ever be, that would be the last bottle. in fact he would quit tomorrow.

but it didn’t happen. by now he would get so angry at everything you did, so you quit saying anything anymore. smaller than a comma, insignificant as a cough. but you kept believing because you wanted it so badly.

one day he would. one day he would quit. one day he would notice me. not an object, not a portal. one day he would love me like he was supposed to. one day he would stop hitting me. one day everything would stop. one day, an angel would brush my hair, seventy seven strokes, and my horse would come riding by and carry me to the water with my angel flying beside me. one day. everything good and nothing bad.

where was i? i think i fell asleep.

so that was that and this is this. but the process is the same. i couldn’t make it happen. and that’s not a cop out. sometimes can’t… is just can’t.

the hating doesn’t happen anymore.. as it did when i was younger. i’m not sure why. but i know i am glad about it. the little shit storms are still there though. the ones that i fall into on occasion. sometimes i stay there for a while. i just do.

until the pain from the impact is gone.

Brown Girl Dreaming — Jacqueline Woodson

Some excerpts that move me…

Even the silence has a story to tell you. Just listen. Listen.

My mother tells me this as we fold laundry, white towels separated from the colored ones. Each a threat to the other and I remember the time I spilled bleach on a blue towel, dotting it forever. The pale pink towel, a memory of when it was washed with a red one.

she stops, midfold, and looks out the back window. Autumn is full on here and the sky is bright blue. I guess I believe in right now, she says.

I believe in God and evolution. I believe in the Bible and the Qur’an. I believe in Christmas and the New World. I believe that there is good in each of us no matter who we are or what we believe in. I believe in the words of my grandfather. I believe in the city and the South the past and the present. I believe in Black people and White people coming together. I believe in nonviolence and “Power to the People.” I believe in my little brother’s pale skin and my own dark brown. I believe in my sister’s brilliance and the too-easy books I love to read. I believe in my mother on a bus and Black people refusing to ride.

 

 

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Some excerpts that move me…

Who knew love could kill you?

For Werner, doubts turn up regularly.  Racial purity, political purity — Bastian speaks to a horror of any sort of corruption, and yer, Werner wonders in the dead of night, isn’t life a kind of corruption?  A child is born, and the world sets in upon it.  Taking things from it, stuffing things into it.  Each bite of food, each particle of light entering the eye — the body can never be pure.

So really , children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.

So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?

We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust.  Much smaller.  Divide. Multiply.  Add ans subtract.  Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm.  The lungs the brain the heart.  Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl.  Then the world starts in on us.

It’s embarrassingly plain how inadequate language is.

[In looking at the ocean]  Sometimes I catch myself staring at it and forget my duties.  It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.

Is she happy?  For portions of every day, she is happy.

He made such a faint presence.  It was like being in the room with a feather.  But his soul glowed with some fundamental kindness, didn’t it?

Every hour she thinks, someone for whom the war was memory falls out the the world. … We rise again in the grass.  In the flowers. In songs.

 

 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin

Some excerpts that move me…

It is the secret fear that we are unlovable that isolates us.

…it is only because we are isolated that we think we are unlovable.

The words you can’t find, you borrow. We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone.

We are not quite novels. The analogy he is looking for is almost there. We are not quite short stories. At this point, his life is seeming closest to that. In the end, we are collected works.

We are, for as long as we are here, only love.