Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another last supper

Course after course, you've never left the table. You've eaten every color, every flavor. Enjoyed some more than others, but appreciated them all.

The plate is clean, or almost. A trace of sauce remains, that heady mix of blood and wine. If you were not in mixed company, you would lick that plate. As it is, you wipe it with your finger. Miles away from polite, you suck it off.

You are ready for dessert. Smooth, rich, sweet. Not something you need, something you want.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Burn this

It begins with yellow, this tale of a trial by fire. Yours. Though you've been dipping your toes in yellow, it's a color you've never really liked. Do you realize that you've never lived in a home that didn't have a yellow room? You never once painted those walls, never chose that color.

Closer to the flames, orange will follow. The orange where the longing lives. It still seems far away, a beautiful sunset on a foreign horizon. But it is drawing closer.

Red, this will be your final stop. The red you never wear. The red that burns the fear away.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lost times

It's winter now. Your first real winter in a very long time. Maybe ever.

You've lost your certainty, but that's a good thing. That's the only certainty you have left. Just enough.

But that is what winter is for, isn't it? This you know now too. There's only so much room in the cellar and you've only got so much salt. Do you know what salt is? It's crystallized hope.

Not candy striped, wishful thinking hope. A cherished desire watercolor of hope, framed in the solid, hand-carved wood of expectation.

The essentials will be preserved and that is more than enough. This you do not hope for, this you know. This is the one thing you know.

Monday, December 14, 2009

An update on the whole bilingual children thing

I had planned on doing this at regular intervals. And I suppose I do. If once a year or every two years is regular.

The boys are 9 and 6 now. They're in CM1 (4th grade) and CP (1st grade) in a private French school. There are no international schools around so we make do with what we've got.

They both still speak only English to me, although they pepper some sentences with Frenchisms if they can't quickly come up with the word they're looking for in English. They usually speak English to each other. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I yell, "LANGUAGE!" if I hear them speaking French to each other if I'm not in the room. If I'm around, they don't do it.

I realize I could be a bit more relaxed about that, but it's so important to me that they speak English well and so much of their time is spent in French. French school days are incredibly long and the majority of their waking hours are spent in French. So I get a little worried sometimes about how their English will hold up over time.

Some things reassure me. They're comfortable in English most of the time. They tell jokes and laugh at mine. They say things like, "I so totally hate gymnastics." "Tell me how many days until Christmas vacation. Precisely." Boy1 has an accent, but it's cute. I'm sure he'll use it to his advantage at some point in his life. Boy2 has less of one, but he's had the benefit of growing up hearing me talk with his brother. I'm sure he'll find something else to use to his advantage.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Two swords

Let me tell you the story of where you have been, she said. And I'll tell you about the two swords you used to get there.

Lost for two years, you saw it all. Mountain, plain, desert, valley, forest, field. You watched the landscape change, the colors go by.

We watched you then, all the while, through every color of every rainbow whose path you crossed. We watched you as you did not move. Seated, quiet, eyes covered in softness, two swords in hand. Taken up as weapons you were certain you would need. One to fight, one to protect.

That is not how you used them. I can tell you that story too.

Two swords for balance. They were your sun and moon while your eyes remained shielded against true light and dark. They were your heaven and hell while you traveled middle ground. Your fire and water, your air and earth, while those elements were out of your reach.

At the end of the your travels, you put your swords down, you freed your eyes from their protection. We watched you do that too.

Do you know what you learned? In that moment of voluntary blindness? Because two years is nothing if not a moment.

If one is essence, two is existence.