fell into an orange sky

“tell me the best day of your life,” he asks. and then waits.

in the dream, i drove. i got into a car and i felt the need to escape, so i drove and i drove until i remembered meeting a man who told me the best place to get away happened to be just around the corner from the road i was on. i pulled over and found myself at dusk, under a swirling, almost eerily orange/purple sky, facing the man i’d just remembered. he led me to an unusually tall, tiny room set atop wooden poles that stretched 10 stories into the sky. the wind whipped across my body, slicing me in two with its surge. i looked back at him from the porch, where he started to climb down.

“be still. look. feel,” he said. “take as long as you need. you’ll know when you’re done.”

do i go with the obvious? the “mom” answer? do i say, “of course it was when my children were born.” yet i am more than motherhood.

so should i talk about the unexpected joy i found laughing with my mother for the first/last time? should i tell about the boldness that comes from the steady constant of my father’s love?

still, he waits.

how do i answer? what is my best day?

i dreamed i was losing my hair. i leaned into the mirror and saw a map of an enormous lake that rivaled an ocean in its beauty and depth on the bald spot on my scalp. along the hairline, the coast. in the dream, i knew this was a place i’d always wanted to go, but didn’t know the way until i lost my hair and found the map permanently imprinted on my own body.

when i feel small.

when i lie on my back, in the dead of night, with nothing but my breathing to note the passing of time while i look at the stars, feel a sense of oneness with the universe and wonder … why? how? when? who?

when my focus becomes narrowed by the lull of the ocean, the spray of the water, the feel of the sand. when i’m grounded on earth, firmly planted and still feel … fleeting.

a blink. a nod. smoke.

there are so many things that cause me to feel bigger than i am. more important. the chance to feel small … to really feel the freedom of my own insignificance … is at once frightening and calming. reassuring and sad.

but it is freedom. it is such freedom.

and if you string together the moments i’ve felt released, the sum might equal a day.

the best day.

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