Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I can't help thinking that there should be another one. The white crib rails stencil a reverse silhouette against a blue apparently called in Japanese.* Some of the books have been corralled into blue wooden boxes. The others, taller and thinner, won't stand straight on the shelves. The nursery is tiny -- the smallest room in the house. But, there in the corner, there would be just enough space for a second crib. I could fill in the spaces between the leaning books, crowd a few more stuffed animals into the blue plastic basket.

Of course, I'm lucky and, of course, I'm grateful for what I have. There are so many facing a failed cycle, or the shattering of a loss or of another loss, or the realization there may never be another baby or a baby at all. In fact, I sometimes feel so absurdly, undeservingly fortunate, that I hesitate to say anything about it at all. But, in a way that's a little harder to express, I also feel lucky and grateful for what I don't have.

It's like -- well, it's like a story, sentimental, improbable and surely apocryphal that I read somewhere a long time ago and am no doubt utterly garbling in the retelling. There's a man, a miner, blind from birth. He's especially valuable to the other miners because he can work in the parts of the mine where the smallest spark could set off an explosion.

Suddenly, one day, a miracle: I can see! he calls out.

The other miners are dubious. What are you talking about? It's pitch black down here. Even if you weren't blind, there's nothing to see.

You don't understand, says the man, I can see darkness.

*ETA: Or maybe, not that it really matters, more like somewhere between the following two shades. And why am I so entranced with finding a site that shows and catalogues the traditional Japanese colors?

Sora-iro [sky blue]
The color of the brightening sky.

Shinbashi-iro [Shinbashi color]
The color which was liked by Geisya (geisha?) at Tokyo-Shinbashi.


wheelsonthebus said...

makes sense to me. you don't stop missing what is lost just because you have found something else.

Smiling said...

I just love it when you throw out stories, quotes, and the like that you have a knack for remembering. The blind miner story will be rattling around in my brain for awhile I suspect.

Thank you.. again and again.

slouching mom said...

have missed you. glad to be reading you.

christina(apronstrings) said...

i can't imagine that that feeling of loss will ever go away. maybe fade. but never disappear.

Grad3 said...

It's only a sign that what is missing never really left. Which isn't always a bad thing... it's left you with the gift of wisdom. ~Hugs~

Sammie said...

Wheelsonthebus said it best for me ~~
makes sense to me. you don't stop missing what is lost just because you have found something else.~~~

I had twins and lost one... I'll never stop missing Noah and thinking what if every single day of my life..
I have found that the pain isnt as all consuming as it once was in the beginning though..

Anonymous said...

It's quite a beautiful thing to get to the place where you feel lucky for what you don't have.

Marin said...

I'll remember that story. Thank you.

Dani819 said...

I am equally entranced by the color chart. It's the sort of thing that can make me happy for days on end.

Gratitude for anything- the perfect shade of blue, the arrival of joy, the absence of blinding pain- is a gift.

Magpie said...

"traditional japanese colors" - is that like "traditional american colors"? or what?

i think you sound ambivalent about another, frankly.

niobe said...

"traditional japanese colors" (actually, "tradition japanese colors") is a quote from the site.

And there's a Wikipedia article about how these traditional colors were those used in literature and textiles and to show rank. Or something like that. It's not exactly a complete explanation and who knows how accurate it is.

leanne said...

"I can see darkness." That story really struck me.

And ditto what allypally said.

Julia said...

I don't think I would use "grateful" for that latter thing, but certainly and always "cognizant" and "aware."

I love blues, many many hues of them. And recently Monkey has been on the blues kick, more or less abandoning the pinks. And I did nothing at all to encourage this transition.

Bon said...

yes. love the story.
and i AM grateful...sorry and grateful both.

Camber Mechele said...

I only just saw your blog over on Antigone's blogroll and popped in. I haven't read much, but this post got me thinking.

There should've been another one for us also. I look at my E and I know that there should be another little 12-weeker that looks exactly like her.