Like sand through a sieve, time slips through my hands, and as I read to Everett and Mae, I realize I can no longer see over the heart-shaped space that is their heads meeting. They’re too tall. Time sketches angles in Sophie’s cheekbones and broadness in Cohen’s shoulders and fullness into Ellie’s curls. I pull into work and out of work and into work again, keys in, keys out. I teach one year, five years, ten years. I see the dashboard of my car; I’m in the parking lot, reaching for the car handle, pushing the door into summer heat, closing it to the sting of winter, and opening it tomorrow for spring. It’s moving that quickly: in, out, open, shut, sleep, arise.
Everything is moving so quickly now; it always is. We brush off skin and chop hair and clip toe nails. Growing and moving toward an end that we know is coming as surely as we know the eyes of our spouse. That is to say- we know them, but we will never quite know them completely, as we also know within them is their own abyss, their own universe which is large and vastly unexplored.
I needed to write today. I write to stretch the seconds, stretch them out like a rubber bands, to create a space in the stillness between them. I see time slipping and I write to remind myself I’m here, to mark an unmoving space in this earth that never stops; I want to put a flag in that space and on the flag it will say: I am!
If I’m honest, I write to not be lost.
But perhaps nothing that lives is lost.
Since I have been, I’ve been breathing, and I write to hold the breaths, to feel them in my palms and observe them like small worlds, each one holding infinite detail. I write to hold the seconds; perhaps I write to become part of the ever-slipping sand, since I know it is fruitless to hold it.
Words cannot capture the sway of Mae’s hair, how the light blonde strands swing horizontally like a pendulum. Words cannot capture the gentle heat of another human hand or the vastness of a star or cell. And try as they might, words will never be able to capture Truth.
And yet- the space between the words might. There in that space we feel the hum of connection that sounds something like “I know” and “me too”. The space in between the words will stretch out the seconds just long enough for us to be fully alive. That space holds the moments, just like time holds reality, even though we know full well reality is too big to be held.
Right now, Cohen is laughing at something he read in Big Nate, a car’s wheels screech outside, and Ellie’s breath ebbs and flows like waves.