Wednesday, May 11, 2011

eyes wide shut

Do you need some help? the lady had gotten out of her car and walked over the grass toward Sophie and me. Sophie lay twitching in the sun, her face in my lap, her seizure as sudden as usual, a toppling over from where she sat cross-legged and then a long, low groan as her arms and legs stiffened and jerked and I cradled her as best I could thinking there were grass stains on her and on me and still I waved to Oliver as he hit tennis balls with his teacher. It's all right, I said to the lady, she has them all the time. And I turned my head away from Sophie and up toward her, I'm used to it, smiling reassuringly at her broad, concerned face. The hem of her dress rested on Sophie's staring face, it was purple and white and cheap. Thank you, though, thank you so much for asking, I added, and turned my face back to Sophie. She turned then and left, pulling her car out into the street and I felt that old dread descend upon me, the dread of questions and uncertainty, the resignation, the pulling away from now, movement down an endless path. Tonight, I lay in bed with Sophie, wide awake, her hands clammy, her eyes open, her brain scrambled. I stroked the hair off her face and rubbed her temples: I willed the energy of my desire into her head, I closed my eyes.


  1. It never ends, does it?

  2. Wishing I had the words.Instead just sending love,as well as my very own desperate desires for you,for Sophie,your way,in great abundance.

  3. Nothing to say. The endless repetitions, the circles within circles that expand and you and Sophie in the middle of the vortex.
    I hold on to hopes for the impossible like a child to a swing and like one, I too keep my eyes wide shut knowing that some day I will fly and so will she, free from the day and night "terrors". If there are comforting words I don't know them, for now the feelings will have to suffice.

  4. I can't really say anything more profound than Allegra has...

    love to you.

  5. Sometimes there are no words. I am sending you, Sophie and your family some positive energy.


  6. That image of you sitting in the grass holding and comforting a seizing Sophie while simultaneously waving to Oliver and smilingly reassuring a stranger ... that image just perfectly sums you up. A perfect amalgamation of strength and grace, an anchor in the midst of the chaos.

  7. You know what? You have a life which is so different and so much harder than anything I can imagine. That's all there is to it.
    You are beautiful.

  8. Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
    Called or uncalled, God is there --C.G. Jung

    What this means to me Elizabeth, is that the awkwardness, the impossibility of that moment requires a deus ex machina, but it doesn't come because our perception of the moment is equal to our emotional investment in that experience. But it is our emotional investment, reaching far beyond our need to understand, which explains our human value.

    Hence 'Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit'; it goes beyond our understanding and you can only 'be' it.
    So indeed, close your eyes, in order to better see.

  9. The hem of the dress makes me shudder.

  10. such love. such fierce tender mother love, giving each of your children what they need in the moment. Close your eyes, dear Elizabeth. You deserve to rest a little.

  11. I have nothing profound to say. I believe I would be eyes wide wild and howling at the moon. You have tremendous strength and for what it is worth, I respect you very much.

  12. I tried commenting yesterday but blogger was on the fritz

    I think I feel like that lady in a lot of ways ... Except I'm not driving away


  13. The "do you need some help?" question is the worst for me:

    1) Pretty much always the answer is "no."

    2) It calls attention to the fact that things aren't in-bounds, when, as you say you're "used to it," and probably wouldn't have thought twice about it had the stranger not approached.

    3) There is the social interaction that you have to perform on top of the caregiving activity. The social interaction isn't bad, but everything said sounds so poignant because of the subconscious going wild.

    4) The truth is I absolutely need help and so does my child, but the type of help required isn't humanly possible. And that's a sad thought, too.

  14. This is beautiful writing Elizabeth. I felt I was there. I'm sorry.

  15. Sending loving thoughts, I feel this one where it hurts :( xo

  16. Been there.

    I've found a home here.

    Thank you.


  17. Beautiful and sad and true. I wouldn't want help either and the fact that she asked makes it all so much harder, I know. Super Anon really nailed it.

  18. another arrow straight to my heart...
    oh to pull the sting from yours...and
    replace the "pulling away from now"...
    with arrival.

  19. Yes, we need help. No, a stranger can't provide it. It seems that no human can, doctor or otherwise.

    I am sorry Elizabeth.

  20. beautifully written, like a poem. A heartbreaking one.



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