It’s been 8 months today since my mother left the planet. I don’t think I’ve ever been weighted down by starkness the way I have since. Not that anyone could see it on the outside, but a private starkness that keeps me company constantly. The interesting thing about this starkness is that I can see its point. It’s quite valid. It reminds me so much of this dream I had a long time ago that always stuck with me. In it, I was on an airplane that was going down and everyone was freaking out, naturally. And the guy seated next to me kept grabbing me in the rib cage. It hurt really really badly and so I said to him, “Can you please stop! You’re hurting me!” And he said, “What the fuck difference does it make if you’re hurting??!! We’re going to be dead in a minute!!!” That guy is the starkness I’m talking about. And it’s nearly impossible to convince him of all the other valid reasons to soak up any little bit of time left here. Last night, when we lost power, I sat with myself in the darkness, without the distraction of bulbs and glaring screens, and I thought about my ancestors – what their experiences might have been like long ago without electricity, if they felt more connected to something beyond their own fates, if they understood how to handle the longing to live with the need to stay safe in a more elegant way than I do. I am not used to thinking of myself as part of some evolving spirit – of seeing myself as a holder of beauty and truth that I have a responsibility to share because it doesn’t really belong to me. But I realize how grateful I am to have in my heart all the truths and beauty my mother took the time to share with me, and I hope to do the same and pass it along, instead of letting that heavy starkness diminish it for its own good reasons.