no words

Out in the open field alone the air feels damp and heavy, but with that weight comes some sense of comfort to my sadness, like the blanket that my father used to pull up over me before he kissed me goodnight then left a sliver of light through a crack in my bedroom door. Then, through open windows dressed in colorful drapes that at night dissolved into greys, I could hear the hush of wind through the trees as I do now, and smell the freshly cut grass that works its way between my wet toes like bits of ribbon.

Is it the silence that makes me think of him now? A giant standing tall and thin as some of the trees skirting the field. I remember the quiet that my dad and I shared on walks or while crouched and bent working in his garden together, then I think of the silence that Calvin and I share simply because he has no words to speak. But does he have thoughts that long to be formed into words?

Someone once said to me with teary eyes, “Sometimes I wish the good Lord would just take him,” and I winced as Calvin was described as flying across the sky. Winced, too, because I’ve wondered if it would be easier for me, for him, if he were gone. But not as an angel, I thought, as a star.

There is a sublime beauty in that there is no heaven, no hell, but rather this magnificent universe in which everything is divine. They had it right when they said, Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. One's eternal life exists in the minds of those they leave behind. I can almost be sure that is what my father believed and passed on to me, though without words. And Calvin, like a fleeting star, will never know those beliefs, those thoughts. He’ll simply be, and then one day, not be. And those of us left behind will breathe in the heavy, moist air perhaps smelling his sweet skin, feel the wind through our hair as if it were his fingers and hear his whimper faintly amongst the trees. In that way, like my dead father, he will live on.

But not now, while we share this world together. For now, we belong to each other, and the bright streaks across the night sky that we search for, marvel at, cherish and perhaps remember are glorious comets, star dust, ash. And they don't look down upon us. And they have no words.

photo by Michael Kolster


  1. My departed loved ones remain with me just as you've described, and for me too it is a source of comfort and joy....

  2. What a wild description -- and so beautifully written, Christy.

  3. What beautiful musings, Christy. I think all of us with epilepsy must think of that sometimes because we know what it is like to not be, to have disappeared within our bodies. And sometimes, in the darkest parts of the journey--in the midst of failed medications, week-long EEG's, injuries, and relapses--we wonder if we could just stay there. But then it gets better. I hope it gets better for you and Calvin.