Posted by: scintillatingspeck | October 2, 2018

Lost and found.

As I emerge from the food co-op, Lily is pointing to a CD case in our car: “What’s this?”

“Here.”  I hand her the album Wherever You Go, by the band Sweet Wednesday.

“Can we play it now?”

“Sure.”

The first song comes on as I start the car and head toward home.

this is my day to find your note
in the pocket of my coat
that you wrote
a year ago
I never saw it

telling me I should not fret
and that everything it happens for the best
as long as you can see the sky

“When did you get this, Mama?”

“Five years ago.”  The lump of sadness in my throat is impossible to conceal.

“Why haven’t I heard it before now?”

“It makes me really sad.”

“Why?”

“I… I don’t think I can talk about it right now.”

“Okay.”

We listen as I pull into the driveway and the tears roll in hot, damp tracks down my face.  My eleven-year-old girl puts her arms around me and leans her head against my arm, wordlessly.

“I’m okay.  It’s fine.”  My voice is thick with grief.  “It just reminds me of how I felt at the time that I bought this album.”

And how I feel now, and all that has changed, and all that hasn’t.

“You have me, Mama.”

“I do. ”

“You had me then, too.”

“I did.  You were a comfort to me then, and you’re a comfort to me now.”


 

I go in the house and listen to another track on the album, the one that kind of wrecks me.

I was lost without a clue
on the day that I met you
I was tripping over my own shoelaces
then you taught me how to tie
them into butterflies
and we went soaring over hills and churches

 

That’s the song they were singing at the Tuesday Farmer’s Market in Northampton, where I heard them play that late summer day in 2013.  I sat on the bench, there between Thorne’s and the parking garage, with the crunchy hipsters bustling around and the farmers selling vegetables and meat and eggs and what have you, with my then-6-year-old girl doing her rounds, talking to everyone.  I wasn’t talking.  I was retreating into myself and crying.  I bought the CD from the band, knowing I would need to bring their songs with me into some opaque future, hoping they might help me make sense of my entwined inspiration and devastation, my heart on fire, my fulfilled and thwarted longings, my unbearable losses.

Here I am, in the future, with these songs found in the pocket of my coat.  They were always there.  Here’s your story, they sing.  So lost you were, and are. 

So lost. 

So loved. 

Don’t fret.  You can see the sky.

 

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Responses

  1. Part of me is occupying that same frequency at this moment, with my eyes brimming wet, for no reason other than my astral visit to your car with your girl and you. This is rich, yet hard to take. I wonder about these melancholic proclivities that some of us have, and resent the word melancholy for its historical baggage. I do imagine, however, that a tolerance for melancholy may be essential at the point that our species’ folly can no longer be ignored in polite company and daily living. Then people will probably call us superheroes behind our backs. Who the fuck knows? Anyhoos, here I sit, feeling you, longing for a good old American farmers market, wanting to hold your hand. Namas fucking tay girl friend.

    • I feel you, too. “Rich, yet hard to take”—yeah. That’s life, here and now, then and there. Thanks for tolerating melancholy with me. Love you.


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