Pieces of Me
I have green in my eyes from my mother and a nose just like my father. But I’m more than the features of my face, I’m like you - I’m pieces of people, places, moments, dreams, memories.
The most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen was out of a hospice window. It was a cold January and my grandfather’s bed was right by the window. It was hard to see him dying from ALS, it made me feel so unsettled. The last evening my brother and I went to visit him there was a vivid pastel sunburst outside the glass. it was like a million crayons exploded so vibrant and all the colors then melted and rested in a serene lullaby. Fiery with muted tones. My heart felt ready to burst.
Aren’t we more than just who we are? Aren’t we the things we love too? My favorite place to drive is Windmill Hill Road in Branford, CT. I love how the trees overlap with all their leaves of bitter scarlet, burnt orange, pale shy green, bleached yellow all intertwine like colorful hands. If my life was a collage it would be white lights on a summer night, the coastal mansions neglected and forced into foreclosure in Mississippi i’d have to take pictures of for work. I’d get lost in all the rooms imagining soft paintings of ballerinas and the overgrown gardens being secret and full of roses -romantic ghosts of a time past. I imagined the hands and hearts that went into building each part of their home. What music they played, what they wore, I imagined what they left behind and hoped they went to a place bigger and brighter. I have a bit of that Irish Sadness, that writer’s curiosity, but I also love nothing more to laugh and be around those who make me laugh.
Part of me are memories of spending summers seaside at Mansfield Grove - a magical private beach enclave my grandparents’ had a sweet & cozy cottage in. Swimming and running and being under the summer sun with my brothers and cousins through those warm months are etched like pretty cursive in my mind. Sandy feet, sun-streaked hair, the smell of watermelon and grilled food mingling with the wind chimes made for a perfect coastal sensory delight. Fireflies sparkling behind a setting sun still make my eyes crinkle with joy.
I’m my anxiety and trauma I never dealt with, sure, but I’m also joy and laughter. I’m peonies on a bright day, and lilies in a rain storm. I’m a vintage dress, lace gloves, and a vinyl record. I’m a strand of blonde hair and the bright colors of Miami, the blues and yellows of New England, the purples and golds of New Orleans. Swimming under the stars, cocktails in shimmery dresses, hopeless summer romances, tulle skirts, a box full of Polaroids of my father and other little mementos. We are all so many things.
Who are you?