When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” —Mary Oliver, from “When Death Comes” (via bookoasis)
A short piece I wrote today, which arose from a writing exercise we had in class.
Her father had once told Anna, that she had her mother’s hands. She had not understood that until now, as she observed the way her fingers kneaded the soft mass of the dough, artfully rolling it into pale, thick plaits.
“There’s nothing that can’t be fixed by a fresh loaf of bread,” her mother would say, even after the illness had begun to creep over her, darkening her eyes and transforming her light step into that of a woman bearing heavy stones in her pockets.
Anna remembered her mother’s voice, which had been like water; always clear and soothing, washing away the hurt of the world.
Her mother had spoken with the sweetness of berries, even as the sickness had sharpened her breaths.
Some time during the worst of those days, or perhaps it had even been that very last day, Anna had traced a finger over her mother’s cheek. She had been in awe of the softness of the wrinkled, brown skin. She had even whispered the word: soft.
Anna recalled the way her mother had opened her eyes at the sound, and in that moment, she had realised the word she had really meant to say was kind.
This was how her mother had lived; in kindness.