I don’t have my usual stories for
you because I don’t have language. My conversations here are bodily, or
sensory. I smile or nod or shrug or wave, or turn my shoulder and look down. I
touch and feel and brush against, sometimes dive or lean into. I am learning to
be quiet for a change. I am learning not to describe my experience to myself
even as I have it. It’s a habit see, I do this because I want to tell you all
about it. I do this thinking my words will help me remember what my eyes see or
how the different textures of ground turn and work my hips.
But now at this age I have finally learned what you already know: That the eyes
remember, the feet do, the lips. Like the way the skin on my forearm remembers
the hand that steadied me on the last step and recalls the man – younger of
course – concerned I might need counter-balance since the lowest bus tread is
still high, and the stones below it are rounded.
My eyes remember vultures circling in the distance like cinders in reverse, the
sharp green hill their bonfire, birds slowly drifting down. The eyes’ memory
pumps through my neck into my heart which for a moment relives its grief at the
thought of something dying. The heart contracts and sends a torrent to my head
which considers death for a moment and winces - this before sending to my inner
ear the memory of being under water: Blue-green water which, once emerged from,
faces open sea to the north and a little arc of sand to the south, sand that is
not dirty but rather a mix of black and tan that might make it appear so. And
my calves remember: Kicking and resistance. And my soles remember: The coolness
and density, then heat and yielding, of the sand.
The small of my back remembers turning toward the north where the shore is now
and the waves break. My chin remembers turning over my shoulder and my shoulder
remembers this too, because right then it lifted up my arm and waved good-bye to
the sea. And my arm remembers: The slight breeze of locomotion passing over it,
then heat pressing into it because the legs are working so hard to carry me up
the hill; heat the arm feels beneath the tingling memory of the hand that
squeezed it upon arriving here; the hand that sought to keep it safe, and did.