Death has a way of softening us, like a fruit ripening, from the center to the edges. I remember her as a child, a beautiful little girl with striking eyebrows, the kinds that never require penciling in. It’s been so long ago now, but her smile is somewhere edged in my memory. A smile of a happy child, a smile of “before”, a smile of pure radiance. Somewhere along our lives, we will inevitably be covered with scars. We learn to walk, but not all of us learn how to get up again after falling. Falling is so natural. We lean toward earth at all times as gravity pulls.
How to live with silence. So many dialogues inside and out. Today, I am observing silence. My hands itch to write these words I am not speaking. Thinking is dangerous, someone has said. Thinking sharpens the self’s warped senses. The righteousness of self must be put on a dimmer.
Death has a way of opening the mind. I go through the list of people whom I am indebted to: my parents, my first and last teachers, my children, my family, even the boy who told me he could never love me the way I deserved to, the people who opened doors for me knowingly or unknowingly, the inspirations I found at the street corners when I was not looking, the moments that allow me to crack myself open and peer into. So many items on my gratitude list. Every day, someone is changing my life, sometimes with words, sometimes with deeds, sometimes on pages or in person with a smile or a frown. On rare moments when I am truly present, I would walk through these many gates opening right in front of me, and glimpse the wonders on the other side.
Death has a way of ripening the mind. I don’t remember her as a full-grown adult, plagued by her own demons. Somewhere along the way, she got lost. Somewhere along the way, I got lost too. She exited this world now, while I still breathe, right now at least. The fleeting moments cannot be harnessed, but this moment still rests in my cupped palms. This moment. This moment. And this moment.