Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Midnight Moon In A Daylight Sky




One evening as I walked through the soccer practice fields with 4 tired and hungry girls in tow, rushing around, annoyed, and exhausted, I (by some divine force) looked into the sky and saw that I stood on the crease that divided two halves of the day.  When I looked to my left I saw a setting sun bursting silvery ribbons through the lattice of trees.  When I looked to my right I saw the full moon, pale but entirely visible in a dusky sky.  I stood transfixed between the transition of day's end and night's blanket just starting to tuck us in. 

This unique time of day felt more like a phenomenon, a suspension of time.  It felt much like when you are standing on one side of the street in the sunshine and look to the opposite sidewalk and see the rain falling and somewhere in the middle of the street, you see the exact LINE where the rain ends and the sunshine begins. It feels like you see the border of where two separate entities gently and respectfully collide.  Like you are almost two places at once.  I  stood at the place where the rotating ball of earth reminds us that day and night are just different sides of our one world.  The sun and moon, sharing one sky, speaking their silent promises on the same canvas to anyone who cares to stop what they are doing and witness. There I stood in their surreal glow.

My induction into motherhood shortly after CB's birth catapulted me into neither light nor darkness but into a new space I had not yet defined nor felt any sense of belonging. I found myself lobbed onto a fault line; type- rope walking the crack of earth where night meets day, where "known" meets "unknown," where love meets loss; and there I would balance.  And there I still balance.  So, it is no wonder I have found this unique time of day, when the sun and moon share a slice of sky and simultaneously kiss hello and goodbye, so bewitching and peaceful. It feels full of all the dichotomies of life.  It feels like home.  

I remember holding CB's 16 week old, unconscious body in my arms. A body ravaged by her first 90 minute seizure. A body I had breathed my own breath into in order to turn her flesh from blue to health.  If you have never seen a baby that small in the throes of a grand mal seizure, I am here to assure you that you never want to. Especially if it is your baby.  I was a husk. The spattered blood on the crisp hospital linens served as a twisted Rorschach test...

"What do you see in the blood-red inkblots, Alicia?" 
Motherhood.

The tubes in her skin and up her nose and a huge dose of ativan coursing through her tiny veins would be an image I wouldn't forget lying in my bed at night weeks after her discharge.  An image that would be replaced by the real thing again and again, so there was no forgetting.  Spending her first 4 years wondering and praying and worrying and hoping that she would be okay. Walking the line between night and day... the crack between good and bad, okay and not okay, peace and anxiety, light and dark... and I belonged in neither of the worlds, only on the fracture such a trauma could create. 

So many days spent wondering if she would be okay.  Fifteen years later, I have my answer. She is both okay and not okay.  Or perhaps, she is neither, for that is all subject to our interpretations, our projections, our desires and expectations.

She just is. 

She is the midnight moon in the daylight sky.  She is the dusk; the dividing line between day's hope and night's peace.  Suspended in a twilight sky, twin spheres of barren rock and eternal flame in plain view.  The firey sphere of life and the silvery, unseeing eye of the black sky. 

The setting sun of all that is left behind.
The shadow of all that is unknown. 
And on the thread of grace that stitches together these worlds,
all that simply is.

14 comments:

Being Me said...

I don't think I breathed during this post. Alicia, it is stunningly written. And yes... what is, just "is". Perfectly imperfect, perfectly horrific, perfectly peaceful, as constant as the sun and the moon in the skies.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Oh, what a gorgeous post. I savor your words. Thank you for sharing your experience and rendering it so beautifully.

P.S. I love that time of day.

Elizabeth said...

So beautiful, Alicia. You write for me as well -- for many of us, I'm sure --

pajama mom said...

love.

pixiemama said...

A heartwrenching a sweet post.

love, love to you.

Jessica said...

Beautiful, bittersweet post. Sunday sent me to your blog and I'm glad she did. I have a 15 year old daughter with autism and 3 little ones who do not as well. Your writing is beautiful. So true.

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful. It's more than the words.

Anonymous said...

Oh such a beautiful story so intimate and real wow I am just floored!

Karen said...

I read this almost as if in a trance...I felt as if someone had FINALLY found the words for what I have been feeling for so many years, and I was spellbound by reading them there in black and white. When, at the end, I finally "came to", tears were streaming down my face. Tears of elation, for I realized I was not alone, tears of sadness, for I know the pain and despair that we can all sink to when faced with loss, and also tears of joy for I recognize that love, that however "imperfect" this world says my daughter is, I always have and always will love her with every beat of my heart. Thank you, THANK YOU for sharing!

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for writing what 'is'...your words have calmed my heart from anxious beating...

Amy Z said...

I often feel as if I have been holding my breath since my son's diagnosis, afraid to inhale and take in more pain, afraid to exhale and lose any power I still have over my life. Beautifully written. Bravo, from the bottom of my heart.

Alicia D said...

Y'all have brought ME to tears. Thank you. It's words like these that lift my heart on the days when I can't lift it myself :)Thank you to the new comments who left their stories here. Its nice to know we arent alone :)

WarriorTherapyMom said...

Alicia- once again you have touched my soul with your words. You describe that feeling so beautifully!

rhemashope said...

your writing is a gift. thank you.

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