This morning I heard tweeting. Perhaps the smoke dampened their calls, or they flew to a safer spot but it seems they’re back with the fog.
Last night I started reading The Return by Hisham Matar. Matar returns to Libya after twenty-two years to discover what happened when his father disappeared when Matar was nineteen and studying in England. His father’s political imprisonment probably ended with death, but we are with Matar in his exploration.
Perhaps that’s why today I open a box that I brought up from downstairs a few months ago.
I re-discover the autobiography I wrote when I was 9 and the wallet given back when my father crashed on his motorcycle in 1969. He was 47 and I was 19.
Now, opening the scuffed wallet, scuffed when he was thrown and landed on his head – no helmets in those days, I see a photo of myself, my high school graduation picture. I was 17.
My lungs fog up to match the view outside the window. Grief.
And then my grandson calls and I see him as he frolics about and lights up the screen and my heart.
What is release? What is the clasp that connects us all? I look at my grandson and see the past and future combined. In this moment, all is as precious as can be.
I put my father’s wallet back in the box. I’m not ready to let it go, and my blood spins round and round twining ribbons to stars.