Babies, Or Our Magnifying Glasses

Before I had a baby, I could always see the past clearly, but as a free-livin’ young gal I could never quite see the future. Siblings and friends could seem to have it all planned out, mapped out, and I couldn’t see just beyond the bend. I could never quite make it out. When it came to the next phase of my life, I’d always say, “I’ll feel it.” But if I really admitted it to myself, what I really was doing was fumbling in the dark.

Now, my baby has given me a looking glass, a magnifying glass, into what the future holds. It’s the superpower of clarity into the life process. With his arrival, life flashed before my eyes and the entire dance of the cosmos, the entirety of the human experience – the din of parties, and the thick whispers of sex, the chirpy laughter of friends, the clomping of high heels, the squeals of infants, the quiet whine of loneliness, and the silence of aging – all reverberated into one continuous tone.

And I got the song. I saw our lives as musicals, in singing, living color.

I can see that skin is just skin, whether it is baby skin or midlife skin or aging skin. I can see that the shoes we wear will wear out someday, and that our hair will lose color one day. I can see that we will discard our pants, our computers, our cell phones, and sometimes, our memories. We are walking daily through an invisible sieve, loving and losing, every single moment. Gaining, and being. Drifting, and losing. We walk into who are, and away from what we were. We are always the same, and never the same. Keeping the remnants of it dormant in our nervous system like a raincoat for a rainy day. Cell memory, our only backpack.

This is the lonely business of being alive.

It’s translating for each other what it means to be us, in this brief time of overlap, of intersection of who we are. This blessed moment of my life where my son’s crossed my own. That I hope I remember even far into the cosmos, at the slick gates of heaven – which might just be another dimension. Heaven might be a backyard entry right through the rain itself: heaven might be a masterpiece. Heaven might be the place where we can address who we are as humans, by hugging our homies from the haunting places. Heaven might be the thick air of history that makes us all feel at home.

When we disintegrate, we re-integrate into the earth. And the cellular network that is the Planet, and the Afterlife. I think that the dead talk to each other, and come tell us they love us.