The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing


The Not Gods

It was during the time shortly after Monkey’s DOE on 12/1/13 that I began to think about Kirsten, a friend I’d not thought of in a very long time. Monkey seems insistent on bringing her to mind. Hard to describe, it’s a vibe I feel with Monkey, a mood that takes me back to Kirsten. 

Kirsten was my same age. And when we were both six years old she was hit by a car and died. 

After her death I was told that she went to heaven. And in a question I hoisted up into the universe for an answer or a test of faith—or both—I wrote a message in a bottle to her. I then traipsed over to a field across the street and tossed it up into the air. Over and over I watched the bottle fall, splat in front of me onto the grass.  

I’d always in my adult mind pegged this moment as the one where I concluded for myself that there was no god. 

But Monkey’s arrival had me thinking and feeling otherwise. That maybe while being abused, struggling for air, I simultaneously lost but also found my faith. 

Monkey seemed to be that part of me filled with this faith and positivity. 

The sun is coming up! Can you see?

Barely, Monkey. 

Barely is the beginning of everything!

Around mid December I remember walking Stella. Monkey came along with me inside my head. It was cool outside, nearly Christmas, and Monkey had made a firm decision about Pete; he declared that he loves him. He loves his maleness, his strength, his sensitivity. When we arrived back at the house from the walk we could smell the dinner Pete was cooking. It's our favorite meal.

Monkey, overcome with happiness, asked to takes over the laptop to write a letter.

As I handed him the keyboard in my mind, I began to sense that Monkey would be with me for the long haul in this meditation, that an allowance of his voice was not only critical, but unavoidable.  It was also in these moments, on that cool December evening, as Monkey wrote his letter, that the Not Gods emerged, a creation of Monkey’s that would, along with him, remain. 

Dear Not Gods, 

Thank you so much for our brain. I can’t believe what spills out of it.  And for Eileen, who visits us and reads us each day. And who sometimes comments too.

Thank you for Pete, my boyfriend, whom I lost when I was five but found decades later. He is my heart. 

Thank you for my brother Bob who was there sometimes for us as we were growing up. And for Stella, our dog, who teaches us that you love, simply, what is yours. 

Thank you for the Christmas lights that twinkle in the cold night air. And for my strong legs that like to move and, for that matter, a whole body that likes so much to be used and that works pretty well most of the time. 

Not Gods, thank you for making sure my life did not end up in the news, an article written long ago and by this time yellowing and faded in someone’s attic. It would have been about the murder of a very young girl who was suffocated at the hands of her own brother.  

I also want to thank you for our heart, which, somehow, along with our brain, learned to bend and swerve and break into a thousand pieces but, ultimately, all in the name of living another day, another day to grow up and to grow away, to grow safe and secure like we are right now with enough money and the warmest of beds to lie in while our meditation roars. 

And finally, and in closing, Not Gods, I want to thank you for this vert moment in time where I am loved so deeply and so well that I cannot help but to feel held as I crawl into the darkness and pick up every piece, everything that ever was and is mine.