Every single time

The first time I come. It doesn’t feel like fireworks. It feels like breaking into a run. That moment when muscles coil, prepare. And suddenly there is a hand pressing at your lower back, propelling you forward. You go from heavy to light in an instant, you’re sprinting, feet barely touching the ground. Everything rushes by, and it’s you right there at the centre, flying.

That’s what it feels like.

And then you come crashing back to earth, heavy limbs and hard breath. Everything slows to its usual, unbearable pace, and the loss of that lightness is as painful as a punch. You were free, you were running. And now you are back here on the ground.

I never let Mr. Jackson see how sad this loss makes me. How it makes me cry. Every single time.

~ Alice, Into the After

Image by Joanne Piechota

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Waltz

A memory that sits closer to the surface. A different conversation we dance around. We are discussing what would happen in the hours after Honey, I’m home! How it would be, if we were the ones on either side of the door. We spin an imagined history between us on this sunny, stolen afternoon.

That sure would be something, you say. If life were a dream.

You think my view of domesticity is naïve at best. You do not believe two people could sustain this every day. An intensity of skin to skin that does not leave room for God or neighbours, or tricycles turned over in the yard. Obsession may prevail in moments, yes – but it does not leave nearly enough time for real life, Maggie.

My parents still waltz in the kitchen, I defend. In the midst of chaos, they go into their dance. It makes the chaos beautiful. Or the dance. Even when there is work to be done.

Because not all love is scheduled, I say as you look at your watch.

But the moment is gone. I can see that I have lost you to the clock, once again.

Image by Joanne Piechota

Eidyia who sees. Who knows.

I ask you to christen me. I have nothing of yours to keep, nothing to mark me, and so a particular significance weights this request. This will be the only name we ever share, and I have already determined no matter what you decide, it will be mine to keep.

You take your time (and I think you’ve forgotten) when you come back with this – Eidyia.

Eidyia. The youngest, perhaps the most beautiful, of the Oceanides. The baby sister of the Nymphs who presided over all water flowing on earth. Eidyia. Pronounced Idea. The guardian of both seeing and knowing, a Goddess of knowledge. Some say she was in fact a sorceress, a witch in possession of the magical eye. Indeed, she would grow up to birth Medea, that ultimate enchantress, and the archetypal woman scorned (I was always better at research than you, my love).

But Eidyia!

The daughter of all things flowing, where nothing abides. Her father Oceanus, and her mother Tethys – the source of all things that never stay the same. As a young girl I used to scribble out the words of Heraclitus, finding comfort in his idea that everything is in motion. To think you could never step in the same stream twice! And now the personification. Eidyia. The goddess of a family in flux. The source of clouds and weather and quenched thirst. The shifting of mud and rocks and settled earth. The impetus rushing to the river mouth and pouring out in to a salty sea.

How did you come to this name, my love? As the only clue you left me, I have examined this from every angle (I would build a shrine to her if I thought this is where you’d fall at your knees). Because – EidôTo see. To know. What did I see my love?

What did I know that made you want to lay in my arms, to ask the truth of me?

Or was I nothing other than your siren on the rocks? A fresh water nymph with glistening legs, and a pretty face? We joked of mermaids without their tails, and you were always a naked husband – was this just an extension? Could you possibly know that I would wear this name the way others wrapped a diamond round their finger? That this would be your greatest gift? Did you name me with a gravity that matched how I took on this mantle?

Eidyia. The Goddess of Knowing. The Goddess in perpetual motion. What I wouldn’t have given for the waters to still. For a moment, treading water, where you were there right beside me. Waiting with the answers.

Eidyia at body, remember

This was written so many years ago. It required a little tidy up to re-post here, but the ideas were all there, way back when …