Sunflower Skins

June 25, 2010

Sketches, Experiment 10: Eating Wisdom

Filed under: experiments, prose — Tags: , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 12:50 am


At the ripe age of thirteen, full of spunk and fever, I once pronounced a curse of death upon my grandmother for making me come home early from a party. She didn’t approve of “the young people drinking.” That seems so many years ago, but I can remember her expression exactly, her no-nonsense, I-can-dish-it-right-back remark:

“Honey, you’re dying as soon as you’re born. Get used to it.”

What strikes me now is not the idea that life is a struggle or that our journeys are ending as soon as they’re beginning or whatever. It’s her attitude in the last part. Become familiar with your mortality—and your chance for error and injury and dishonesty. Get to know and understand your transgressions. Accept them.

In my first high school science class that fall I learned that adaptability is one of the nine characteristics of living things. To adapt despite the weather, to turn wherever there’s sunlight.

Purple bruised wound. Accept the ability to adapt to this shitty world? Why would I want to live through this?

My grandmother’s curse has come true: she’s dead and underground by now. I am standing here in my kitchen, looking at a vase of flowers. There were a lot of people at the funeral, but the church still seemed empty. My cat jumps onto the table and sniffs at the irises and baby’s breath, debating the possibility of eating some.

You try so many ways to get around the chaos, but you keep coming back to the same realization, that once upon a time, the chaos that balanced you.

Eat your words, baby girl. Tell yourself it will be alright and continually adapt to the infinite changes. Never stop changing. And in that, be constant.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: