Our mutualism seems to slowly bud forth from the parasitism we entered into when you grew in my belly.
I long to protect you from the insanity of the world “out there”, but the out there is in here too, spilling out from the cracks in the foundations, sprinkling down from the rafters, seeping up through the floorboards and wafting across the hallway to our little room.
Its lead is enough to drive anyone insane, but these sensitive souls materialize it and metabolize it into something gnawing and sometimes beautiful. I’d like to think our secretions are at least aesthetic, though their susurrant order is misunderstood and stomped by those who missed that most interior, implicate message.
We lay here, holding each other, trying to negotiate connection in a culture of separation, interbeing in an atmosphere of individual existence. Illusions. We feel it in our body, our milky interactions, our deep gazes into each other’s eyes, the grasp of your little fingers on the prototype that is mine, that was given to me by someone whose life is now bones.
The latest crescendoing, soft hum of our malaise: what is humanity doing to life? Things are getting worse, I think we all feel it. I take part in the destruction, these days. I am vile, I exist in vile, its web is unlike Indra’s or a spider’s, it’s an algorithm that infects my mind and I’m addicted to it, trapped… I don’t seek forgiveness from you or the Earth, that would be stupid, but I do often long for an escape that doesn’t exist, cannot exist because I don’t believe in After, and the Before is misconstrued. I am 50% radical acceptance, 25% guilt and 25% in denial. Don’t ask why I won’t glue myself to a road, my resistance has always been quiet, a sort of soul deviancy that feeds into an ecosystem of thought and spirit. I know it’s not enough. I know I am vile.
My father came to visit you and brought a breath of the old ways. He brought organic grief into my shiny plastic bubble, he brought the wooden skepticism of the tough Mediterranean weeds that resist glyphosate and the metal gnash of the weed eater.
He was kind, and kept his thoughts to himself, and all his 74 years of coexisting with oaks mercifully did not bear down on us, mercifully did not intrude like others often do; he happily cleaned the gutters and quietly slept in the room across from ours.
His gifts for you were reminders of that musky inheritance that belongs to us, the inheritance which my traumas have caused me to self-exile from. In my sleep deprivation I hallucinate ancestral soil and air, dream of the deep refreshing restfulness experienced in that little room with the tipi-tapping big-eared rats and my grandmothers sagging cotton mattress, and the hairy spiders on the dusty windowsills.
What kind of information is stored in 50 year old dust? In 100 year old beams? In 1000 year old xylem?
They have those here too, but they are stained in blood, and the air is stuffy with petrochemical pollutants and rivers broken in by man, like ginormous, muddy wild horses. That’s your inheritance too.
I have not been writing to you like I wanted to, we’ve been surviving here, and I am shocked at how the world goes by and nobody ever mentions that this most fundamental task of bringing life forth and sustaining it is so difficult and lonely and mind-altering. I shouldn’t be surprised, really, in a society that’s a death-cult that paradoxically denies death, that shuns the Mother and shames the mum, that takes from the Earth and shits glitter and weaponry and polyester whatever. Everyone goes on about “the village” and people have no fucking clue what the hell they’re talking about.
We received a lot of gifts and gift cards for you, but I am starved for touch and understanding and connection…and it’s not that Sandy’s turkey soup or my brother’s bolognaise or Ari’s fruit salad didn’t offer that. They did, a million times they warmed my belly and my heart. I’m not ungrateful. It’s just that we are holding you 24 hours a day while you cry and squirm, and we are trying to keep you alive and responded to while keeping ourselves alive and somewhat functional and we are apes, social animals that are meant to live in groups, not single-family detached homes in fucking suburbia in COVid-rife selfishland-v.2023. I realise now that’s the commitment and strife needed to keep life going on this planet, and it can’t be done unless most of us are onboard and playing together. Phew, I don’t know…
Maybe I am a little bitter, but not at anybody in particular, not even my mother who died prematurely and wrecked my life. She tried her very white-knuckling best to stay alive for us, but she had to become a ghost to stop being a ghost etc. I suspect most of us do.
But you, you are so beautiful. You are so vocal, so persistent, so insistent and demanding and alert. You are irresistible, and you smell divine, like you dropped straight out of the Pleroma or rather with a Bohmian somersault unfolded out of it and into my lap.
When I was pregnant with squirmy-kicky you, my brother asked why do people have kids. I know the answer oh yes I do.