Sunday March 29th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something that is: limitless.

I was allowed to sleep until 7 this morning, which felt relatively glorious. And while I am still feeling the lingering effects of this cold, it's never gotten especially bad. So that's all good.

Max, on the other hand, is going through a rough stretch. I don't think he's sick, just dealing with a lot of stuff. Teething, moving around too much this last month, too many people coming and going, and just a general lack of routine.

We're hoping to get things back to basically normal this week as far as our schedules go, so hopefully that helps.


Dear Max,

There are some moments, some hours, some days that I am convinced that you are testing the limits. Of our rules, of your abilities, of gravity, of my patience.

That last one most of all, I am not proud to admit.

I know so much of this world must be incomprehensible to you. I know that, relatively speaking, you just got here and there's so much you've yet to learn. Like all the emotions surging through your body and the words you need to express them. I know, most of all, that you are innocent.

And sometimes I forget. I forget all that I know for just long enough for my patience to run out. I say things I immediately regret. I apologize afterward, I always do, but words seem inadequate.

There are other moments. Ones during which I see things differently. That you are utterly, blissfully unaware that limits are present. Why can't you climb that? Why not throw that? Why not try that, use that, touch that? Why not, really, do it all?

On those occasions I realize the truth: that you are limitless.

And a part of me, quite a large part of me actually, envies you. What a world to live in. What endless possibilities you must see.

And I am sorry to be one of the people who breaks the illusion. Know that I try not to do so unless it is necessary. And that I probably do it more than I need to, in my attempts to keep you safe. And know too that I do my best to encourage you onward, to preserve your belief in yourself and your endless abilities.

But most of all, know that I love you. Always.

Always and forever,

Your Dada


Greg said...

Well, patience is something you can learn and that gets better with practice, if that helps at all? But more important, I think, is to realise what the loss of patience is actually saying: that you think that Max is capable of understanding why you're not happy with something that he did and that he should have thought about that before attempting it. And that's normal for adults: we expect the people in the world around us to think first and act second and mostly (acts of heroism aside) we disapprove when they don't. The thing is, that by setting those expectations of children we encourage them to become better people and to try harder for things. it's actually a good thing to have boundaries that flex and can be pushed against to see how far you can get. So don't be too hard on yourself over it all :)
And if that doesn't help, here's an easy trick for you: next time you feel like snapping, say your own name instead of Max's: "Marc! Why are doing that?" That should give you enough time (as you wonder why you're being blamed) to decide if there isn't a better way to respond, and Max will think it's hilarious that you're shouting at yourself ;-)

There was a chill air in the language lab because Marie had opened all the windows again, insisting that she couldn't stand the smell of Katarina's soup. Dr. Cliffard, who was getting very fed up of the inter-women bickering, had hidden behind his computer screen and was playing World of Warcraft and wishing all his problems were as easy to solve as chopping the head off an orc. Then Philip walked in and set the tape-recorder down in a space on a workbench.
"What the hell?" said Katarina, her accent adding a throaty cough to all the aitches. The recorder was blistered and tape had unspooled and then stuck to the outer casing.
"Odnose B," said Dr. Cliffard, hitting pause on his game. "It ruins equipment and drives people to suicide."
"Is that like Preparation H?" asked Katarina. "Does Marie have Odnose B in her handbag too?"
The snap of the clasp of Marie's handbag closing was loud in the lab. "No," said Philip. "Odnose B is a language. A very unusual one."
"Language's don't drive you to suicide, silly," said Katarina. She laughed, a high-pitched titter than set Dr. Cliffard's teeth on edge.
"Only murder," whispered Marie, thinking she wouldn't be heard.
"We've found tonalities in Odnose B," said Philip. "I won't lie, I think we've lost two undergraduates because of it."
"Right." Dr. Cliffard nodded and pulled a pad of forms from his drawer. "Occupational hazard, obviously. How many tones?"
Marie stared at Philip. "That can't be right," she said. "Mandarin has only four, and that's a class D language. Human's can't... oh."
"Yep," said Philip, his tone brittle and acid-bright. "Basically Odnose B resets the tones every time you change one, so there's always four above you and four below you. Pick the right sentence and you can escalate the tones into a kind of vocal Doppler effect."
Dr. Cliffard sighed and got a different pad of forms out. "Messy?" he asked.
Philip nodded. "I've never seen an epiglottis go ballistic before," he said.

morganna said...

Soaring to the stars
All the heavens above
All the earth below
The dream of flight.

Anonymous said...

Marc, I almost cried when I read yours! That is so sweet and raw. We also had very similar takes on the prompt today.


“Like most things in life, the way I feel about you has limits. I can’t fully express myself for there are no words in any language, alive or dead, that can describe to you the force behind this swell of feel inside my heart whenever you are near me. I long to be able to tell you the extent of the pit within my chest, tunneling through my body and into some nether realm where our darkness is their sun. But these words of mine barely scrape the surface; they always fall short of what I’m trying to say. Then there’s the whole restriction of time. My life before you was a waste of breath: I was blind and deaf and mute. Nothing seemed real, my life before you. There were no colors, no warmth of chill. My anti-life was a void of neutrals and blandness. But since the moment I met you, my life has been brilliant and bold, unforgettable in every way. I want to continue living and feeling the way that I do when I’m with you. But that is an impossibility, one that cuts me deep. I know at one point I or you or both of us will die and I pray there’s a heaven so we can truly stay together forever.”
I was still finding it hard to catch my breath. The world beneath me, something I had always thought of as solid and unmoving, was suddenly insubstantial.
He brought my hands to his mouth, kissing the back of both. He looked into my eyes and the world beneath me was no longer in existence.
“All these things are limits but I ask of you to see past the confines of this world. I ask only that you see my feelings for you, the only true beauty our lives have to offer. For what I feel towards you, my love, is without description, without age, and without limit. My love for you is everlasting.”

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I dunno. I've never been very patient. Maybe I just need more practice, as you say.

Ah, I'd forgotten about Odnose B. Thanks for the reminder :)

Morganna - that's a lovely little poem :)

Ivybennet - thanks. When I started I hadn't really meant to share as much as I did, but it didn't feel complete without going a little further.

A really lovely sentiment behind yours. It's much appreciated at the moment.