What a dream I had,
pressed in organdy,
clothed in crinoline
of smoky burgundy,
softer than the rain,
Was what I started singing last night after taking my youngest to the craft store so she could make a card to thank her favorite coffee shop for their ever-present kindness.
What a dream I had, sung in a mother’s tongue who in her child has witnessed the slow-emerging of a battle for the soul. Anxiety, depression, hospitalization, having shaken us out of safety when I wasn’t at all prepared going into motherhood that there might be times when they’d try to slip away. That there’d be times they’d drop into a hopelessness unconditional love couldn’t reach; where unprotected from the awful realness of the world—animal cruelty on YouTube; family darkness—the tender people could become delicate houses capable of toppling.
I didn’t know any of that. So sung the lyrics softly as if inside a home so delicate I dared not breathe.
But that was hours and a night ago.
And after the sun and sky woke, I raked the soggy leaves of a different season, and when my youngest returned from delivering her card, fast-forwarded into the more recent years.
For I did not know those things about motherhood; that into life can arise such pain. But as she told me about giving them her card—crossing her anxiety and depression to deliver it—I realized the darkness of a human life doesn’t get to be more true than the light that life can rise into.
Because as the tender people who wanted to give up bear acts of Love risen from wounds, dreams softer than the rain become rowdy celebrations, and we scream in the joy of growing bigger than the space we were given.
And as beautiful as softness is, screaming to the world about oh sweet child of mine holds power more becoming my new truth, and so floating with the tender people no longer just experiencing the world as they are creating it, I yelled lyrics in triumph about the beauty of the art project that is themselves.
[I wrote most of this sitting at Alchemy Coffee, the very coffee shop her thank you note— see pic— was written about; and while I was there, an older gentleman, a regular, was chatting with the barista about the music that was playing—The Doors—which I was also writing about and he said he saw The Doors at Lagoon (an amusement park) when they played there and that his first date was to see The Rolling Stones at Lagoon in 1966. History swirls all around]