Tuesday, May 13, 2008

dot dot dash. dash dot dot dash.

In the middle of an unremarkable chilly day the voice of the roaming nomad started to whisper in my ear….”you’re kidding yourself you know. You have to go……There are so many places you have yet to see….you have to go back….you belong out there…you must move about…there is work yet to be done.”

At first I didn’t listen. No, that’s not it exactly. At first it just felt like a lack of silence where there should have been some. A Morris code of sorts repeating itself like a broken record to someone who can’t decipher it.

Dot dot dash. Dash dot dot dash…

I went on with my day. Visited the Fuel café for some coffee. Completed an eval on a minimizing perpetrator. Took the dog for a walk. Studied paint samples. Then I ran into my dear friend and mother of my most favorite twin boys in this whole entire world. She indicated she would stop by with my little mangos after she picked them up from school. The idea was I could see them while she took a look at the latest paint swabs I have put on my wall. There were many. Paint seems like the biggest commitment of my life.

Dot dot dash. Dash dot dot dash…

They entered like a tornado. Bubbly lemonade in one hand crumbs on their face and updates to tell…
Aidan: Auntie Gwen! We’re here. I made this for you at school. It’s a fire truck!
Patrick: Auntie Gwen! Oh, hey Tuesday! Look I made this for you too! Can you open this for me?
Gwen: Sure Sure yes yes! Come in my little mangos. How was school?

Dot dot dash. Dash dot dot dash.

As I look for the bottle opener and rummage through drawers the undecipherable white noise continues to play in the back of my head.

Dot dot dash. Dash dot dot dash.

It’s still repeating when Aidan asks me, “where do you sleep Auntie Gwen?” I inform them there’s a bed in the mezzanine and they can check it out if they want. Tuesday adores these two little boys and therefore follows them everywhere they go when they are around. Due to the fact the stairs going upstairs do not have backs on them she has been experiencing some anxiety climbing them and looks a bit like a serpentine on her way up. This makes the mangos giggle. I can’t help but suffer from breakthrough smiles just experiencing them doing simple everyday activities. They come back down and we talk about the things in my loft. Then they start burping, which of course leads to more giggles. We all head down to the second floor to check out paint schemes. Clearly I’m seriously lost and a bit preservative about this issue. I may need an intervention soon.

We head back upstairs to my tiny little loft and continue to play and giggle. After a while their mother decides it is time for them to head home for tacos. Patrick has decided he wants meat. Aidan is presently a vegetarian and declares he will be having bean tacos.

Aidan asks when they can come over again. I inform them that I will be going to California the following day and plan to return on Saturday so maybe they can come next week. I start to teach them the surfers hang loose hand sign and we practice together. On a related note, I am proud to report they both know how to do the classic Liberian handshake (i.e., the shake-snap) and they proceed to practice it once again with gusto.

All of a sudden Patrick looks confused and hides his head in my pile of African fabrics. We all pick up on his emotional shift but his mother and brother, much more astute about Patrick’s emotional states than I, move closer to him and his mom gently begins to brush through his bushy blond hair. Aidan quickly asks me, “Auntie Gwen how long will you be gone?” I tell him, “just until Saturday.” “How long is that,” he replies. I show him four fingers and say, “only four days.” He whispers, “that’s not long” and his mother wholeheartedly agrees while patting Patrick’s back. Patrick raises his head and looks at me with tears in his eyes and patchy red spots on his cheeks and it’s clear that he had begun crying because he believed I was going to leave once again for a much longer period of time. Still speechless he studies my face and my fingers. Satisfied with the scenario he gets up and everybody prepares to go.

Tuesday and I walk them out and we talk about the next time they would like to come over. It was decided it will be next week before school. I ask about their plans for the weekend but, by then, we are at the car. They managed to walk through a massive pile of mud before climbing into their car seats. Their mother doesn’t seem to mind in the least. Aidan quickly rolls down the window and keeps asking me a series of questions. “Where is the water? Where are you taking Tuesday for a walk? What airline are you taking to California?” Then, while I sit there fully appreciating the fact they are still waving to me out the back window of their car, I realize the Morris code in my head has stopped. As if it somehow got lost, I finally experience utter silence.

In that moment, feeling lost in the silence, I realize what the noise was all about and I sigh…..my enviable struggle – should I stay or should I go?

The fine line between explorer and abandoner was captured in the emotional experience of a dear sweet boy who had lost his aunt, a flawed aunt no doubt; but, an aunt that has managed to mean something to him and an aunt who has left him for one third of his short life to date. To him the thought of losing me again was like the injury pain I referred to in my previous post. To me the thought of staying and the thought of going is equally as painful but I remain thankful that the choice and the struggle are there because a life without it suggests I am not wanted nor needed anywhere in this big loving yet scary world………..

1 comment:

********************** said...

Your blog is truly moving. To walk a mile in your shoes would bring clarity to someone who has no idea how lucky they are to live in a modern country. I wish you the best and make great changes Gwen! - Becky (Dahlke) Nunez

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