August 1945. Mexico City
“We are little more than camels carrying an amalgamation of habits across deserts of loneliness, and because they are both water and burden, we are simultaneously angels and beasts. my words and stories are no more than humps that man rides from point a to point b, pretending his vantage point from several feet high will save him from being devoured by the footprints hidden in his unfathomable sands of trauma.”
my mama wrote that in her journal two years before i was born. i’ve always wondered whether being pregnant with me was like carrying water or riding a hump. it bothered me for a long time, the not knowing. but not too long ago, i had the idea that carrying anything at all was imaginary. it led me to consider there was no sand, no trauma, no water, no burden, no angels, and no beasts.
it’s entries like these that caused me to feel so separated from mama. it seemed her life was so shrouded with thoughts and words that she didn’t know how to live outside the shadows of her own making. my mama’s name was mary, and she had blue eyes. to honor this entry in her journal, i planted wild hyacinth, because i couldn’t find the seeds for blue-eyed mary.
mama seemed wild with a heart bluer than blue, and although the hyacinth that bloomed in early summer was purple, i thought it was fitting because, beneath all her pain, something about her heart felt majestic to me.
maybe being too regal of heart hurts, or perhaps just carries a little more water than needed. i like to think of the air as giving off endless droplets of moisture that soothes deserts of pain that even i avoid.
my words are like shoes i use to be close to mama’s footprints, while also being respectful not to erase them.