Around mid-July become deeply maudlin and morose. Be confused about why colours seem muted, sounds seem dulled, about why you’re suddenly short-tempered and tetchy with your family. Wonder if you have a hormone imbalance. Check for pain or injury. When you find nothing glaringly wrong, wonder if mood swings characterise anxiety or depression.Continue reading “How not to make my father’s sardine achar”
I watch my four-year-old son spring from rock to boulder — a little mountain goat — giggling with pleasure.
“Don’t fall!” I call, my motherliness rising like bile in my throat.
He doesn’t hear, and keeps climbing — surefooted, confident.
I hope he never hears my anxiety.
I’m checking in on you.
The words from my friend, so simple and so full of all the concern and love and tenderness between us, loosed emotions barely held at bay.Continue reading “Ripples”
She pinched off a piece of the tiny banana between the tips of her fingers and thumb. Sun-ripened and sugary-sweet, it was harvested earlier that morning from one of the many banana plants in her sprawling, verdant, over-planted garden. She mashed it meticulously, breaking up large chunks so there would be no choking hazard. Then she grabbed the ‘baby’, pried open his mouth, and shoved banana inside, scraping her fingers along his teeth to get every last scrap. She tilted his chin up and massaged his throat–there would be no spitting out of pre-triturated banana, no rejection of her love.Continue reading “Silky Sidney”
“Can I take a photo of him?” the woman asks.
Wafer thin slices of potato dive from the mandolin, cascading into the hot oil with a raucous sizzle. My father brushes past my left shoulder. I’ve learned not to look, not to ricochet my head around searching for signs of him. He’s not there.
CN: this essay mentions coping strategies subsequent to adverse events in childhood (there are no details of the events themselves)
When I was eight, A Very Bad Thing happened.
There’s a much misunderstood but oft quoted Hindu/Buddhist tenet that life is suffering.