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Home Begins in Water
In dedication to my Nephew, who but for a few times a year I see only in photos. Though I hope that will change soon. I wrote this for him just after he was born.
Flying into LA, the sky is a blanket of smog and smoke from mountains on fire, brown and thick and yellow in parts. From above and through openings in the blanket is an endless grid of rooftops and highways and blue and red car lights. How ironic this is where my nephew is being born; a new life arising amidst a city on fire like a phoenix or that which comes in the aftermath.
Home begins with whooshing and mama’s voice through water. It begins with her breathing, a rhythm like her heart beating. Home begins in water. Then home is mama’s arms, soft like satin and pressing close and sucking. The voice no longer through water, clearer and louder. The baby cries cause life outside is so different. It is bright and loud and cold. Inside it was warm and quiet and dark and safe. My family grew by one over the weekend. His eyes are blue and big and his body limp as a wet noodle and chunky and pink.
What I want for you are feet dusty, dirt underneath fingernails, eyes looking into deep dark skies freckled with stars at night, dreaming about constellations, eating at the dining table with not a device in sight, books read by bedside, sitting on the front porch, drinking lemonade. What I want for you is for at least one, two, or if you’re lucky many people to really see you. What I want for you is sun on skin, playing outside unsupervised, a song in your heart that makes you feel alive, courage to understand the scary parts inside and to fight the good fight of staying spiritually free and alive. What I want for you is a human life. Not a meta-life. What I want for you is wind in your hair and the song of your people hummed through pressed lips and when the lights go out that you search for God at night.
You are part of the world now. Life has opened her door to you and you are perfect. Your fingers and toes and organs all just work. You eat and you poop and you sleep and you open your eyes and nobody taught you to do that. Welcome to the world, William Phelan Clibourn. This is your new home. May you carry the feeling of safe with you wherever you go. May you always feel stable and known. May you always feel home.