perusing through eight thousand pics. i fall upon an image. a still shot from a favorite film. in it, the celestial body for which the film is named, melancholia, hurtles toward the earth. its gravity, enormous. its shadow, broad and soft and inescapable. its weight, disabling, capsizing people and their relationships.
years ago, i first saw the film. since then, calvin has suffered hundreds of seizures, including one this morning on day six. he has ingested thousands of pills. suffered painful and debilitating side effects. swallowed gobs of bitter cannabis oil, syringe by syringe.
i do a double take. see myself in this mother. her burden. her predicament. her place in the surrounding world—its dark sky and eerie light. the effort and worry etched into her face. no clear path forward. every step met with resistance. hard making progress, her gains erased. impossible slog through the mire that is her life. the weight of her child sinks her. his helplessness. her sheer effort just to keep him afloat. their back to a beautiful and familiar vista—a good and peaceful life left in their wake. and yet they manage to make headway, though really going nowhere.
even as the sun shines on her face, there is anguish in it. it's a bittersweet reflection of life with an exceptional child like mine—of yesterday and last night. of the past seventeen years. a lifetime. the image is dark and sorrowful, and yet somehow—in its raw, honest and gorgeous human depiction—soft, forgiving, intrepid, sublime.
|Still image from the film, Melancholia|