Hidden

Happiness and sadness, similar and overwhelming. The same, because they are frightening and testing. One feels safer than the other, and then it changes. Sitting up in bed this morning, I could see the sky and the trees and the rain, feeding the baby, content. A song comes on the radio and my heart swells because my memory jolts awake, and it’s always like that, always a shiver down the spine and across the skin, a kick in the backside, or a punch to the gut. It’s the little things that make me so happy, he said, all I wanna do is live by the sea. Kind of dark and sad, but who knows why? I just think oh well, it is true. It was then and it is now. Because it’s good, yes it’s good, it’s good to be free…So I’m awake and looking at the sky and the tops of the trees are shaking as the rain batters down, and the baby is suckling, and I woke up older than I was when I went to bed. And all of these lives are hidden. All of these thoughts are unknown. And all of this was so very long ago yet no time has passed at all. All the little things that go on, like food falling out of cupboards, and socks growing dusty under beds, and bedsheets that need changing, all these little things go on inside rooms, inside houses, inside towns, inside countries, and all of these lives are hidden all over the planet while we just get on with our own. When I think about life ending I take a massive breath, the biggest I can find. It is moments we are built from, it is moments we all live for, the sad ones as well as the happy ones because they are all glorious, and none are so glorious as the memories we hold onto and take with us. Because we have no choice in the way time spins us forward, in the way it kills us, second by second, minute by minute, it is killing us while we breathe, and we fight to the death. And we’re all doing it, us and them, and you and me and the rats in the woodpile and the spider on the ceiling and the rustle in the bushes and the cries in the night, except they don’t care as much as us. They are living in the moment, not haunted by the past, not tortured by the future. They just live and breathe and die in their secret unknown lives. While human life is made up of snippets and flashes, and glimpses of what has gone, of photos and songs and smells and laughter and stories and a future which is precarious and wished for, ominous and eager, feared and desired. Then there is you, stuck in the middle inside that moment called now, alive while you remember how to breathe, while you can still recall what made you you. You don’t want to look at the time, you just want a chance to exist, but when you come back round it has still passed by and the next thing happens. It’s not really fair, when you think about it, how conscious we are. You can try and ignore it and fall through life, but it will still knock you sideways every once in a while, and you will take the deepest, longest breath. And one day I won’t be here, and neither will my footprints, and there will be no imprint on the bedsheets, no breath against the glass. All those little things, all those tiny moments, all the things I did and said and thought and believed and touched and dreamed and wrote and read and saw and heard, they will all be gone too. No one will ever know. It will all remain hidden.

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