[perspective: the view from our porch as a thunderstorm rolls in ]
because it seemed that the days had been coming in frantic rushes. there were details to remember, a farewell party to coordinate, daniel's show going late, late, late cutting into precious sleep, arranging babysitters, a saturday board meeting to chair. round & round she goes.
& i sat in the tuk tuk & exhaled deeply. mind racing, i thought:
"we've been living in survival mode ever since cedar was born. when will it end?"
& then i remembered.
i remembered the woman with the recycling cart & her newborn slung in a scarf between the bars that she pushed, walking the streets asking for others' trash., unable to rest - where was her maternity leave?
i remembered the boys huddled at the bus stop sniffing the glue bottle. so young & beautiful & already longing to be numb.
i remembered our own ming kohm & how she had to leave her tiny daughters to go work in the rice fields. how she heard their cries when a neighbor lied & told them that she was never returning. how she showed me how she would bind her breasts so she could go the whole day without feeding her baby.
i looked down & remembered that the coffee i was drinking as i whizzed through the city costs the daily wage of the construction workers i watch from my kitchen window.
i have never, not ever, known what it is like to live in survival mode.
sometimes perspective is like a swift slap to the face.
[but the good kind, like the kind that snaps you out of navel gazing & jolts you into gratitude]