Friday, December 2, 2011


It seems like this should be a metaphor. But it's not.  It's real.

I'm settling back into sleep after answering someone's call, different every time -- one of the kids, or the dog, or maybe just my own bladder -- and a muscle cramp rolls beneath the surface of my skin. Only it's not in one of the usual places like a calf or even the abdomen: it starts at my hairline and drips down between my eyes, clenching in the space that holds all my tension. Fruitless furrows that yield nothing. Nothing freeing, anyway.

I press my fingers there, expecting to feel a knot germinating but it's just the same old grooves, there between my eyebrows, rooting deeper. Ingrained.

I wake up with a headache that recedes slowly, the tide going out. 


I wish this one wasn't a metaphor. I wish it was exactly this easy.

I am a paper crane.

Or at least, that's how I think I hold myself to the world. I've got it all laid out in plain text, in my own handwriting, and then I fold it up with specific intention. Careful creases and deliberate folds until much of it is hidden. You'll see partial phrases and words juxtaposed incongruously. The lines won't fit together. But there will be wings. The bird could fly.

He thinks I wear my heart on my sleeve. But that's not it, really. He's just very good at reading the words that show.

But he's already at work and it is three and me -- and something happens -- and there's that something, again, making me raw and wobbly. No crisp edges here. I'm unfolded, inside out, flat, in front of them. My corners won't come back together. My edges won't line up. Because I'm not, really, a paper crane. That's just a metaphor. I'm full of spit and salt.

Yes, I cry. And I hate it.


Here's another metaphor. But it's also real.

The moon hangs there. Waxing or waning, neither of us knows, a bit more than a sliver right now.

But I can see the outline of the rest of it. It's what they call earthshine, I guess.

I don't really care what it is or why it's there. I needed to see it today. Because it suggests the whole, even though less than half is visible. It promises change, more or less to come, but definitely change. It will not always be this way, whatever way that is right now. Another phase is nigh.

As a physical reality, this earthshine takes my breath away. As a metaphor, it gives it back to me.

Either way -- I thank the heavens.