Midwestern Mama Cooking up Life in the HeartlandNavigation
I’m a newly single mom of two young kids and toddler twins. I have all of the ingredients in life to make an awesome soup — come along as I tear up the recipe card, throw humor, honesty, and heartfelt hope into the pot, and give it a stir. I simmer with love as I write the unexpected story of my family.
“There is no warning rattle at the door. One minute, I’m having a conversation with someone and the next minute, I’m falling through a rip in the universe, falling hard and fast and landing crookedly in another body in another place and another time.”
Susannah looks at me, perplexed. She’s been asking about jumping, “If it is so hard, why do you do it?”
I shrug. I don’t want to answer. “Who knows?”
“But you volunteered, right?”
A sardonic chuckle percolates in my throat. How do I answer that question?
“Volunteer is rosier than I’d have painted it. You’re not really given a choice.”
I carefully unclasp my hand from hers. I hate this part of my story; hate confessing.
Susannah rolls onto her stomach, kicking her feet into the air and propping her chin in her hands, looking very much like the schoolgirl she is. I feel old. I pull the sheet over my lap because I cannot be naked emotionally when I’m naked physically.
“A long time ago, I did something really, really stupid. It hurt a lot of people.”
She just blinks at me, doe-eyed and dewy with innocence. I cannot bear the weight of her youth, so I turn away and talk to the wall.
“It was really bad. I sabotaged a subway car at the beginning of the Revolution and it blew up under a packed theatre. Hundreds of people were killed.”
She sits up, pulling her legs in close and wrapping her arms around them, hiding her heart behind a shell of body.
“I was sentenced to death, obviously. Or I could join the Jumping program. Any fool would choose to live, so I did. What they don’t tell you is that living life after life after life is probably more punishment than death.”
She’s stopped listening, though. They always do as soon as they remember what I did.
Susannah has started to pull her clothes on, shivering as she covers her downy skin.
“You’re Ennio Loblano, aren’t you?”
“I was. Four hundred years ago.”
“You’re a monster!”
“I was a kid. A stupid kid who got mixed up in something I didn’t understand.”
She’s started to cry. Next she’ll throw something at me and order me out of her bed, out of her life.
“That’s no excuse! I’m a kid and I know that you don’t blow up innocent people!”
Believe me, I know. I’ve paid my penance a thousand fold. I’ve lived as men, women and even children. And the minute I feel happiness, the minute life becomes bearable and hopeful and worth living, I jump.
Susannah starts screaming, “You need to leave. Just go! Don’t come back!”
I grab my pants, pulling them on quickly. I don’t even argue as she shoves me out of the door of her apartment, slamming it in my face. I shuffle miserably down the hallway, thinking about this jump. I know I’m not likely to leave just yet, but that’s not really a consolation.
I’ve lived two hundred and thirty-seven lives. Only three hundred and twelve to go before my sentence has been served: a life for every one I took with that explosion.
I estimate that it will take me at least five hundred years before I’m done serving. A part of me breaks off in each person I inhabit, leaving a small chunk of my being every time. I wonder if there will be anything left?Read More
A soul hatched and perched,
It gazed in the mirror and loved what it saw.
The love compounded, multiplied fission and fusion
It could not be restrained,
Could not be contained.
It warbled through the gilt bars,
When the music stops and I stand on the stage alone, I’ll relive the transforming dance and steep myself in movement. I want to embody grace and substance and love. I have shed my shell and exposed bare the light shining within.Read More