(My Father as a Monument by the Sea, and Fan-Submitted Image of Me Photographing My Father, 2011)
Something comes along. It pulls at the roots until what was once foundation is ripped, teared, and shivered (forever). Of course there will be blood, the roots were veins and the veins carried blood throughout the body. Everything is a mess, this something just came out from nowhere, batoutofhell-like, and when it left it left a grand ruin. Of course we're all standing around, handsinpockets-like, wondering how to clean it all up, to restart, and to find normal again. The way of wicked passes, one must fall, and peace will return.
There was a great meteor shower the day you were born, did you know that? Those who weren't sitting in the waiting room went outside, it was dark, Uncle Bobby took his telescope out of trunk of his car, and we all sat around looking at the stars, the ones that were shooting. One by one they all fell, and soon enough they came showering, by the word, by gully, it was something to see! Everyone was silent, everything was still, we all stood where we stood, adam apples poking out as our necks bent our heads all the way back. Wow was the general feeling, dumbfounded and whoa whoa wow. I couldn't remember ever seeing something that spectacular. The closest I ever got to seeing that shower was the time my mother took me to this bat cave somewhere in Northeastern New Mexico. We arrived at the scene just before dark, there were about twenty others, wearing flannel and fleece, warm looking couples, gray in their hair, lawn chairs spread, all was quiet then too. The pine trees in that region weren't tall, but old, and strong, they produced seeds the native kids would harvest every year. Through the pines, the chatter of a million bats sung, it was a dark-dark blue when they first appeared, like an evil cloud, a school of fish in pattern, as they pierced the early evening sky. All around, swallowed whole, they came one by one then by the thousands, their number uncountable but someone was counting. The meteor shower was just that, but with small balls of light falling, burning up, disappearing, no sound, just the faint breath behind our tongues.
Auntie Barb came out to tell us you were born. Bobby broke down his telescope as we headed towards the light of the hospital. Something magical filled our hearts, it seemed like a perfect moment, a baby girl being born during a meteor shower, memories long-forgotten coming back, everything felt warm, and it was, it was July in the Sonoran desert, we were all in shorts and t-shirts, smiles and something sweet, nothing for words, just something that came along.
Eyes still closed, the florescent glow sagging to yellowish green, Ruth holding you, sweat drying on her face, us all standing around like you were a campfire. Inside a fire burned, it kept us all warm, a warmth against the coldness, -a coldness that one can carry even on the hottest and sunniest of days. At the sight of you, all slimy, confused, gentle, soft, lovely, it was absent, the cold, replaced by something else, something warm, something forgiving, something that seemed to give us hope. It was in everyone's eyes, I speak for them all, on behalf of a mutual feeling, and when the lights went out in the hospital there was a brief moment of silence, in the dark, and I swear I could hear the hissing of space rocks burning up in the atmosphere above.
The lights came back on only a few seconds later, the darkness was soon forgotten and we were welcomed by your newborn face again, never losing that warmth.
Tearing through the planes, all turns to crumble, crumble turns into bramble, apple crumble, and oh-my-my-apple pie. All delight, fallen, broken up, eaten alive, the yum going around like the sound of thunder in our stomaches. I'm hungry. I really am.