Joining with Amber Haines as she poses writing challenges ‘abstractions of the concrete’. I struggled with this piece and mixed metaphors like a maniac but I hope in the end I came out with something…
Today? THE BOX…
When they stretch me out someday, on that cold metal table, unfurl my curled up toes and measure the length of me for that big wooden box; one last test to see if I FIT. I wonder if then we will finally measure rightly…
You see, I’ve been trying to fit into boxes for most of my life. To strip away any of my excesses, to fill in my lack with tissue…light, fluffy stuff that makes you feel good but makes it awful hard to breathe in there. I think you will like me better if I do that, take the edges off the corners, soften myself up a little.
When my children stand next to that gaping hole in the earth, will they crack jokes about my fad diets and Pinterest boards of weird exercise regimes? Or will they, in unison with you, talk about the way I spread myself thin on their behalf? Will it be that I wasted my moments on the temporary or that I counted my days, measured my moments, lived the entire circumference of my life?
When they throw that fist full of gravel, that first red rose (and if someone loves me well, a purple lupin), I wonder what they will remember me throwing? Will it be the shame I tossed their way or the grace I near overwhelmed them with?
When they kick the release on those levers, and start to return that wood back to its roots will they say ‘she already did that’? Will they say I lowered myself, that I sought the last place or that I lifted myself, fought for only the highest honors?
Will I be free of all the other boxes then? All the other ways we measure to see if we fit in?
Will we still compare with one another; the diameter of our thighs? The passion of our love affairs? The density of our curriculum vitae, the dust on our coffee tables?
Or will we then, when the box lid closes firm for that last time, measure each other -ourselves-
for the breadth of our love,
the depth of our grace?
the radius of our mercy?
Will we measure correctly only then?