We knew better than to argue but we couldn’t help resisting certain distinctions between the sublime and the ridiculous, laughter and horror. Awe and dread. It was all of these and everywhere at once, and they scolded us for laughing at the wrong times.
When was the right time? we wondered. But it was always not yet. So much applause everywhere for the questing hero, but our supple forms learned something else in those years. How accepting and bearing what may come might be wild acts of giving. It was impossible to wait, but we loved our mothers.
Ashes, ashes we were all arcs and curves, falling down and back again, swinging between force and grace, dance and non-dance, gravestones and oleander, the bright horizon, and the way it shattered in the spray. Rose quartz and granite, sand. You, and your eyes. We played at not blinking until we lost again, shouting I won!
Careful, the greybeards would say as we ran back out into the cold. You’ll catch your death. But it was our lives we were after and death was the feathered brush at the base of the spine, coming hard and we could hear it at our backs. We played at tagging it into a temporary pause but then it would turn, and we knew.
Run! We called back and forth to each other when the only response was fast as you can.