Posts Tagged ‘Anita Desai quote’

Isn’t it strange how life won’t flow, like a river, but moves in jumps, as if it were held back by locks that are opened now and then to let it jump forward in a kind of flood? (from “Clear Light of Day”  (Anita Desai)

I watch Ella as she lives fully in the moment. Mickey Mouse, Dora the Explorer, and a miniature My Little Pony take turns going down a plastic slide. Grandma joins the adventures. Reality adjusts to fit the scene. However, Grandma sees the dust as the sun streams in from the window, the mess that needs to be cleaned later, and an agenda that won’t fit into twenty-four hours. Ella recognizes play and infinite possibilities.

Breathe in for a count of five; breathe out for a count of ten, I tell myself. Yes, I am capable of imagination. “The Curse Under the Freckles,” coming out in early August, is a middle-grade fantasy novel. However, transferring that experience from a controlled page into everyday life is another matter. I need the example of a child, the vision of a little girl who can have open-heart surgery and then, less than a week later, return to her toys as if no time had lapsed at all.

Right now I am praying—a lot—for friends and family facing huge challenges. One has a cyst on her brain; the other is in the hospital with Crohn’s disease. And, of course I always think about my companion with stage-four breast cancer. Several years ago I thought I had gall bladder problems. I wasn’t even close. There was a blood clot in the lower portion of my lung, a pulmonary embolism. The predisposition is hereditary.

I took far longer to recover than my granddaughter did. I was focused on Desai’s metaphorical current and Ella lives its river, locks, jumps, and all. Oh, she fought harder than I did! She hollered, “No,” every step of the way, but she was thoroughly present.

I pick up an old Ronald-McDonald-in-a-plane toy and fly it upside down. “Hey, turn this thing around, will you, Mawmaw?” I say. “I’m going to fall out!”

Ella laughs. Maybe I’m learning.



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