illustration by Arthur Rackham
“Sadness lets you wear stilettos, sadness lets you dance in the moonlight. She just has dark rims around her eyes.” – Tori Amos
The universe communicates in faint whispers sometimes, right below the surface. Sometimes through a voice vibrating warm in the flesh of my ear, as I awake from a dream. That voice can be a “Hey, lookout!” voice, or a “Hey, I’m here!” voice. A life where I am not receiving the language of my dreams and my passing thoughts, that is never fulfilling to me. Yet I get there often, as we all do. It is hard to be fully cognizant of all the inklings and emotions it takes to be alive. There is the joy that makes you feel vulnerable, the anger which can make you change things, the sadness that I keep thinking should be over. It is not. I want to be myself, anything else does not matter, so I work on getting back to how I feel, again and again.
The other night (or afternoon, I am not sure since it was dark and cold and at this point the two can be hard to distinguish), I stopped into the pizzeria to pick up a couple of slices for my son. A step down from the sidewalk, garden level, toasty and brick laden. While I was waiting, a girl had entered and stood behind me. She had a familiar presence. I looked at her, searching to place her, but I did not know her. She had long curly hair, golden, like graham crackers. A sweet and warm face, pretty and distinctive. She smiled at me and said, “I love your earrings”. They were iridescent pink circles, crystal, which I bought during the summer at my sister’s online jewelry party.
It was later that I thought about how old she was, probably thirteen as Susanna would be. The presence I felt was not of a stranger but of Susanna. I had reached out and felt her as if she had never left. Sometimes people from the other side show up like this, through strangers. I see a face on the subway which reminds me of a lost friend, and this face smiles at me. I think about my mother, and hear her voice saying something reassuring. There is so much to know, that is unknown. I do not know the particulars, but I know we go on, and I know they are still here.