The following isn’t about fibromyalgia, but I haven’t been writing too much about fibro lately. I have a commitment that is keeping me busy and the fibro means I don’t have much energy left to do everything I want in a day. I don’t want to leave the blog hanging so here is something. It comes from a piece of writing I worked on at my summer workshop last week. It contains some memories tied together by an image; it might be slightly different than what others who were around might remember.
Certain Slants of Light
There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –
Many times in my childhood I’d be sitting in my room during the dead hour of the day watching the dust motes float through the slants of light coming in from my west-facing window. The dead hour was between five and six, and I hated it. It was the hottest part of the day and the most listless hour imaginable. School was done, there was nothing good on TV since Oprah was over and the news was on, and if it was someone else’s turn to help make dinner there was nothing for me to do. I’d be that annoying kid who would say “But I’m so bored” and lay on my stomach on the golden shag carpeting and watch the dust motes and the slants of light cross the room and then disappear into twilight. I could have read or wrote a story or played with my paper dolls or even had gone to play outside, but I was determined to be bored, and there was something appealing about watching those motes. They came from nowhere and you couldn’t see them any other time. A connection to somewhere else.
Then there were so many afternoons spent visiting my elderly relatives– great-great aunts and uncles and great-grandparents. The ones that had been born in Mexico. The ones who gave me peppermints and caramelos. The ones with no teeth and loose skin who were never ever nice after they gave me that one piece of candy and who were kind of scary, but the ones I had to respect anyway. It ended up being closer to fear. They said so many rosaries and so many litanies of the saints and for so many hours I had to be quiet in living rooms full of rose-scented candles. So much time staring at light rays because I didn’t have the attention span for the full list and I knew I’d get whacked by Aunt Pachita’s cane if I misbehaved. That would make my cousins laugh and that was even worse than squirming. The motes became fascinating in their movements on those afternoons, especially since my great-aunt cleaned her house thoroughly every day and I couldn’t figure where they came from. I was sure I could have a properly thoughtful look on my face trying to watch a mote make it’s uneven way down the ray of light and wonder how much dust was hitting my face just then, and as long as I was giving the right response at the right time I would be okay. I suppose in my boredom I was engaged in my own sort of meditation apart from Mary and the saints