Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wild Things

The role of the writer, as I see it, is to harness the inexplicable and give shape to the unnameable. The trouble is that the act of creating images from fleeting moments of wonder is an impossible feat. Many have tried, some more successful than others, but reality is simply too grand in scope to be portrayed using petty tools such as words.

How can language ever be enough to share the feeling of riding a motorbike through the jungled roads of Phuket with your five year old daughter gripping your hands, as the tender golden soft light of the sun falls from the leaves like drops from a balmy rainstorm? Robust clouds of white and grey give chase, the wind on your faces as you whisper, "Are you okay?"  You give the accelerator a gentle pull. Coming down the hill the vast ocean sparkles and waves caress the patient earth. She takes her helmet off as you stop to admire the sea. How can these words possibly explain the confidence with which she swings her hair and carries the helmet on her wrist?

Back on the bike, you smell burning garbage and coconut rusks, the grilled shellfish and roasting chili peppers. You are aware that this very moment is being engraved onto her consciousness and shaping her dreams. The notion of risk taking has been forever altered as you check and re-check the mirrors, make sure to slow down around each turn, but you cannot ever be too careful. After all it is adventure that gives these moments their brightness, you know this, but her safety comes first. Never again will you throw caution to the wind and do things just to see if they can be done.

You think back to the freedom of youth, amazed you were able to navigate the vast loneliness of all that space. You are coming down the hill, "You know I love you right?" The wind is howling, so you whisper again into her ear. The giant red helmet nods affirmative. Men often gripe about domestication and the staleness of family, but you know that these are the moments of rebirth and second shots at childhood. You will show her the world, every inch of it, in all it's wonder. She will be there to grip you tight and nod her head in affirmation every step of the way. Not only a receptacle of your devotion, but also an active agent of love. She is your anchor, your friend, your partner in this reincarnated freedom.

You pull the accelerator once again and howl as tears pool up in your eyes. Beyond the sound of the engine and the wind you here her voice echo what you already know- the things you can never explain. 

Cross posted at Intrepid Flame


  1. Love it. I am constantly swinging between wanting to expose my daughter to adventure and an overwhelming understanding that her safety is in my hands.