100 Words - the Distance Between Lives

Jellyfish are Awesome

My middle sister came up to visit with my nephew and the whole family went to The New England Aquarium yesterday where I spent the better part of three hours chasing a giant turtle from window to window; he swimming lazily around his tall, tubular tank, I running madly up and down the spiral walkway trying to get one good photo of him, dammit. The rest of the time I was photographing my nephew, or the strange, alien translucence and undulations of the various jellyfish on display.

As a child I probably would have spent the whole trip sulking, refusing to have a good time while innocent and helpless living things floated around in glass tanks, getting endlessly pestered by naughty children. I was that kind of child, and I'm more or less that kind of an adult, but I've learned that sometimes my personal morals need to make room for enjoying things with the people I love.

That lesson pales in comparison to Seeking Elevation's:

I was thirteen when he held the gun to his temple, threatening the finality of the trigger.  That room is a cordoned-off part of my mind now, and he a bad-guy action figure in it: crazy in his eyes, reeking of desperation.  Even as a child, my concerns were more for the mess than for the loss.

My son’s eyes widen over spilled milk.  I never trained the fear in him; it’s genetic.  I tousle his hair, hand him a sponge.  He flashes an impish grin and rewards me with the success of gifting him the necessary space of childhood.


A Little Housekeeping

1. It turns out Monday is just consistently bad for me to get the new prompt up. These posts may seem simple, but it takes me a few hours to read everyone's posts, fret about choosing one, add the linky code, find some book or poem to choose a word from, link to that, and so on. I may be kidding myself, but I THINK Sunday would be a better day, which means the deadline for the 100 Word Challenge is now moved to Saturday at midnight.

2. Please be good little word-nerds and make the rounds to others' blogs if you can. I know it's hard to find some pithy little gem of wit to leave on everyone's piece, but do try.

3. Thanks for being awesome.

This week's prompt (and you've only got 3 days!) is from another of my favorite poems by Galway Kinnell, The Perch. It is one of my favorites not just because it is a fine poem, but because I heard Kinnell read it and his reading lent more potency to an already fulsome moment. Picture it. Autumn circa 2000, a brightly lit cafe in a small Vermont town. I and some friends had come to listen. Among that group sat a young man I was falling madly for, but neither he nor I had admitted our feelings to our friends, to each other, or to ourselves. We sat listening to the poet, our necks and ears craning, craning, reaching toward one another, and toward the voice, the words, the love story. Later, we whispered our love for that particular poem to each other, the distance between us shrinking.