Body and Mind
I feel when he enters the building. I get out of my chair, stand in the doorway of my office in the English department. He comes around the corner. I put my hands on my hips, like a kid, and call down the hallway, “Hey, you!”
She was the one who snuggled with my mother every night, the storyteller who was too sick to run away with her daughter and granddaughter before the SS came in the morning, and who chose instead, after tucking my mother into bed the night before, to climb the stairs of the ghetto apartment building and step off the ledge, freeing them to leave, grief-stricken, without her.
You are the Ancient One. Everything that ever was, is, or will be is part of the dance of your being. You are all of the universe, and so you have Infinite Wisdom; you appreciate all of the feelings of the universe, so you have Infinite Compassion.
No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.
I opened the fridge, then closed it. I called a friend and told her what had happened, then called another and repeated the account. I paced the small hallway between my kitchen and my office, then walked back and forth in the living room, but everywhere I went, the emptiness kept coming, and the air felt thin. The hot edge of desperation clung to my skin, making my breath shallow.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when my wanting became a problem. Sometimes I think it was at seventeen, when I was a Mennonite girl from a dead-end dirt lane, determined to leave for the Big City, for college, for a career and money and high-heeled shoes and shorn hair, and to have absolutely nothing more to do with the hilltop Mennonites.