« …Passons passons puisque tout passe
Je me retournerai souvent
Les souvenirs sont des cors de chasse
Dont meurt le bruit parmi le vent »
Cors de chasse, Guillaume Apollinaire
Several years ago, my Argentinian friend offered me a book, without saying anything but with a special light in her eyes. Twenty years have passed and « Women who run with the wolves » by Clarissa Pinkola Estés is still on my night table.
Tonight, while opening it casually, it offered me this timely sentence:
« I know many writers who keep a sentence posted over their desk, and a woman who has written it on a piece of paper that she keeps folded in her shoe. It contains a line from a poem by Charles Simic which represents the key prescription for us all: « Those who cannot howl, will not find their herd ». If you want the wild Woman back, refuse to be captured ».
In three days, it will be 6 months. Half a year.
My first birthday and Gabriele’s have gone by without your phone call. And the first summer without seeing you, without you telling me how you enjoyed the images I sent you. Winter will be here soon and it will bring your birthday with it, the first where I won’t get the chance to ask myself what would make you happy. And the first Christmas without going present shopping together. Then spring will come and Chiara’s birthday with it, without you enquiring about her party. After that, the bulbs you offered me will bloom.
When March comes, the circle of these first twelve months « without » will be complete. Day after day we will have learned – more or less lightheartedly – to live with your absence and to let go of our habits together in order to make room for learning how to feel your presence differently.
In 6 months, the second « life-after » circle will begin, then the third, the fourth and so on, without us noticing. Day by day we will live our lives with your renewed presence by our sides and together, we will create new memories.
Everything will be different on the surface, of course, but maybe not so much so on the inside. Because to me it is cristal clear that you, who have taught me to love the changing seasons and their cycles, you are most certainly there, somewhere, smiling at us as you witness each new leaf sprout in our lives.
There is a time of calendars, fixed and immutable. The time invented by man and his watches.
There is a rubber-band time that goes faster or slower, depending on whether we’re happy or not.
And there is a secret, unfathomable time. An invisible clock that synchronizes the seasons of every living being that is born, lives and one day, dies.
Marveling at how these times click in different ways as we run about in a frantic way while the tiniest leafs silently sprout.
There is light, there are shadows. There’s a time for thinking over, evaluating, getting ready. A time for waiting, that might seem neverending and useless. But it never is. Because every time, a day comes when you wake up and it’s time for action. For actually seeing yourself doing the very thing you had geared up for for so long. So long without anything happening that you were almost loosing the faith. And there it comes, that day. And when it comes, each and every time, it takes you by surprise. As a flower deciding to bloom on a Tuesday rather than a Saturday, on a morning rather than an afternoon. It might seem by chance but it isn’t and you know it. It’s the result of countless rain drops and sun rays and chains of events, some of which are visible and some will never be known. And it’s utterly amazing, isn’t it? But even more amazing is the fact that on that day everything suddenly appears cristal clear and simple. Oh so very simple. And even though you are scared and you don’t know how you’re going to do it, deep down inside you’re at peace, finally, because you know, once again, that everything is gonna be just fine.
Wishing you a sweet evening friends
As things change so fast and inevitably, it would be nice, to have a special place where all the memories and flavors and smells of our life which are beginning to fade away would be safely stored. On hand, for whenever we feel the need.
The emotions raging when we were teens wanting to change the world, with headphones hanging from our neck, hours spent on our secret diary or chatting on the phone as if our lives depended on it. Or, further back, the laughters of the afternoon parties to which our mama took us, the special taste of the confectionary sugar we would steal from a cake with a finger, and the magic of the summer days where our games continued uninterrupted. Then, farther still, our baby cries, the smell of the body lotion after the afternoon bath or the plastic spoon that fed us with our first vegetables. Right until the blurred image of our parents as we met their eyes for the first time.
I’m lucky to have at least one such special place still in my life. A house with white walls near the sea I go and visit at least twice a year, almost like on a pilgrimage. It has hosted not only 3 generations of children and the birth of a few family members. Time has taken its toll on it too, of course. But, if i choose the right drawers and cupboards, time stands still. The tiny delights above belong to my grand-grand-mother whom I never met.
And so it’s 14 now. Fourteen years since you’ve entered our lives.
Well, the very first time I was introduced to you was way earlier and I recall it as if it was yesterday. I was standing in the corridor of our old apartment (do you remeber it?) and it must have been late morning because the sun was shining so bright through the bathroom window and onto the wall that I had to look down while waiting for the pregnancy test to reveal its verdict. As the two positive blue lines appeared I stood there speechless for a couple of minutes, soaking in the fact that a true, tiny 2-week person was growing in my bosom (utter amazingness). Then I rushed to the phone to tell your dad because there was no way I could wait until evening. This happened 14 years, 8 months and 1/2 ago.
I had often wondered how it would be when we would gaze straight into each other’s eyes – check, that’s done now and soon you’ll look down at me. Your physical changes are so impressive lately that I sometimes stop and look at you while you don’t notice. Are you still you, the same you? ‘Cause, you know, a parent expects his children to grow but how, nobody knows. That’s a book that one unfolds one page at a time and that often makes sense only looking back. Your hair has turned from blond to chestnut, you’ve become so much taller and stronger, your figure is changing. Yet, when I look at you carefully, I recognize the same smile; those long eyelashes and something graceful about you that made people sometimes think you were a baby girl even if a dressed you as a boy; that dimple on your chin like your dad and that way you have to make a joke and remain serious while your eyes laugh. Yes, you’re always you.
Happy birthday beautiful boy
I’m happy and proud you’ve chosen me as your mama