Mortality

Apologies for the heaviness of my recent posts – sadness is a tempting muse! I’ve had more fun than these last few posts would lead you to believe. 

If you put your ear up to the belly of a clock, you’ll hear time passing. You’ll hear all the minuscule moments that make up a lifetime.  The murmur of ages. When you pare your life down into its smallest parts, you’re left with (if life has been good to you, and you to it) lots of beauty and a touch of sorrow. Nothing is more beautiful, delicate, and sacrosanct than life itself – and nothing is more heartbreaking than its culmination.

I sat in the parlor at my grandparents’ house tonight, willing against tears and deafening myself to the lingering sound of my grandfather’s voice. Over the course of fifty years, he’s become omnipresent in that room. I expect his voice to pipe up from his armchair, raked gravel, and devolve into a quiet cackle as my grandmother admonishes him for his wicked wit. But now it’s a heavy silence.

It is now that I envy the faithful. It is memories that can salvage mortality from morbidity. I wish that I could attach that silence to something whimsical and console myself with visions of a reunion on a sea of cumulus clouds but even if that were true – if it is true – my heart would still break because he is quiet.

The hardest part is reconciling oneself with the fact that a person who was is no longer. To remember to put them in the past tense. To realize that you, too, will be silent someday, and to scramble against it every waking second.