Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | August 27, 2014

WIPpet Wednesday August 27, 2014

I have to do some magic with math to make this excerpt fit.  If one takes the end numbers from the year 2 + 4, and adds the final digit of the date + 7, one gets 247 words.  Ha!  I pulled that magic off!

My alien sons drew unknown resonances from me as they travelled through childhood.  On an early morning walk, my two-year-old tugged me down to his level, pointing at the grass.  I ended up lying on the wet, cool, grass to see the rainbow displayed in a drop of dew.  My explorations in childhood had been through books, except for pools of water large enough to swim.  The senses were suspect, kept muted and at bay, so that the life of the mind could run unimpeded by the physical body that wrapped it in flesh and bone.

My sons were bold explorers of the life of the senses. The first time my son snuggled next to me, glorying in my touch,  I felt a trespasser in a foreign land, as these ways were not countenanced in my parents’ house.  My father often teased my mother, proclaiming the smoothness of his cheek after a morning shave.  I can’t have been more than six, pressing my cheek to his to feel what he meant.  He turned to stone as if my hair were snakes, pushing me roughly from him. I never touched him again without invitation. He willingly touched me for the first time when I was moving a thousand miles away at age 22.  My sons’ bold assessment of, and joy in, the physical world allowed me to see through the curiosity and somehow right reckoning of my boys, opening my mind and heart to things unknown, unseen, and untasted.

EM

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Responses

  1. Oh, wow. That’s some lovely imagery. Unfortunately, due to a chronic illness and a lifelong condition something like perpetual sensory overload, I have a lot of trouble with touch in particular. But I’m drawn to your description of your sons and their explorations. Beautiful.

  2. Love, love, love this. Not the part about your father recoiling from your touch, but how your boys introduced you to a whole new way of feeling and seeing. Beautiful. ❤

  3. What a beautiful excerpt! I love how you’ve really captured the wonder and longing of being a child, when all things are new, and when you need touch and affection and are not shy about asking for it.

    I’m reminded of my terrier pup, who was barking in a playful way last week. I went out to the yard to see what he was doing. He was barking at two june bugs on a blade of grass! To him they were just marvelous. 🙂

  4. Great excerpt, with great sensory detail communicating a lot of joy and heartbreak. *hugs*


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