Sunday, February 17, 2008

Only an instant

"Mama, did you hear us sing?"
I was resting upstairs after an afternoon trip to the ER found acute bronchitis, probably viral, but with your history, here's a script for antibiotics anyway. Resting, may I add, on doctor's orders, as discharge papers stated quite clearly that I should get plenty of rest and extra fluids. And yes, I could hear them sing. I would have to be deaf not to. JD and Monkey pulled out the karaoke machine, complete with two microphones, and have been singing, very well and in two languages, for at least thirty minutes at that point. I knew for a fact that Monkey didn't know all the words to all the songs they sang, so the thing I found most remarkable from the vantage point of my bed upstairs was that she was reading the words on the screen fast enough to sing correctly. When I came downstairs with Monkey, my mom, visiting for the weekend, suggested that I could supplement family income considerably by taping a session just like that and selling it to the grandparents at a dollar a song.

Just then JD declared that he was going to sing just one more, and pack it up. I always loved the song he picked. It's a little sappy, but the melody is nice, and the sentiment, while not something I always feel in my bones, seems somehow true in the way that while it may not be your truth, not all the time, you recognize as a truth worth knowing is out there. In my youth it seemed romantic (doesn't everything?), a call to bravery and valiance, because really, can you afford to waste your instant on anything else? Now it just seems comforting in the way that allowed me yesterday afternoon to take in and imprint in myself the moment- JD singing, me dancing with Monkey, and my mom watching-- as it was happening, poignant, at least to me, in both what was there and who was missing. Comforting also in the way that assured me many have been where I am, and, sadly, many will be still, in the way that connected our moments, our instants, through time and space.

I may have been overthinking this, or overemoting, or oversomething, but for the next nearly 24 hours I was all about translating the song. (I started by looking for a translation on the internets, and found one, but didn't like it.) Here it is*, probably not perfect, but with some lines I am very happy with, and apparently good enough that I am no longer obsessively looking for just the right sentence structure and just the right rhyme.

Ephemeral shades make up world ever turbulent,
Future and past, with one moment inside.
Hold on to it, to this instant of in-between
For that is the thing that we know as life.

Eternal peace will not gladden my heart at all
Eternal peace onto monuments shines,
Yet for a star that lost grip and, in shooting, falls
There's only an instant, but an instant that blinds.

Let this blue world onward fly through millennia
We may not always agree on the route.
What do I risk? What's the prize I am cherishing?
Only an instant, of that there's no doubt.

What still awaits me? What joys and what sorrows?
Future and past, with one moment inside.
Hold on to it, to this instant we borrow
For that is the thing that we know as life.

Monkey wanted to dance, for the song is slow-ish, and so we danced, me doing the male partner thing, twirling, and dipping, and pulling her in, her giggling, JD singing, me thinking about the instants of our lives, remembering wistfully the overwhelming happiness I felt when I was doing something like this, or just snuggling, with Monkey while I was carrying A-- the happiness of knowing I have my children with me, and knowing that I can't feel that now, can never feel that again, not fully. And yet, feeling joy, some joy, for being in that moment.

The song ended and my coughing began, because apparently even a slowish dance is too much when you have bronchitis.

*If you speak the Old Country language, and know this song, I would love to hear your honest opinion on this version. No offense will be taken, I promise.


thrice said...

Oh, how I hope for you that you can get as close as possible to feel that way again.

Aurelia said...

Rest those lungs and you will be singing and dancing again soon.

kalakly said...

I love the song, the words you found, even if translated, are beautiful. If you find a link to it actually being sung, I'd love to hear it:)
Feel better!!

sweetsalty kate said...

"...the happiness of knowing I have my children with me, and knowing that I can't feel that now, can never feel that again, not fully..."

Oh, to be oblivious again.

In those moments when I get wistful, it's as though I can feel him looking through my eyes at what could have been... and all we can see together is the void left by him, the child who is not there.

That's when I get quiet and just watch, and try as best I can to summon him, feel his presence as he sits behind my eyeballs, and just send and receive love.

Your words are such a comfort, do you know that? Just for their familiarity, and grace.

wannabe mom said...

such beautiful lyrics, and a nice afternoon of music. i'm sorry about the bronchitis.

i know what you mean about those moments, of being happy in that instant. i have lots of those instants, the happy & sad of them.

Wabi said...

I can see you in my mind so clearly: slow dancing with Monkey, trying not to cough, both enjoying the moment and being caught off guard by some of it.

I would love to hear the original song just to put some sound to the picture you paint with your words.

passingwindows said...

Such a beautiful picture of you dancing with Monkey, with your children. I can almost see it in my mind.

Beruriah said...

I know.

I wish those moments could be pure again. I also wish I could have witnessed you all in that scene. Just gorgeous.

Amelie said...

I'd love to hear the music. It must have been such a bittersweet moment. Hope the bronchitis leaves you soon.

c. said...

How beautiful, Julia. The words. The moment. But the feeling that you will never feel that happiness again, that we will never know how it feels to live in that happy, oblivious bubble again, how very sad. It makes me cry, it's just so sad.

I hope you are feeling better soon.

Coggy said...

I love the words of the song, they are beautiful and very appropriate. I have an image of you all dancing in my head after reading your post.

It's horrible to think we can never be fully happy again. I was trying to explain this to someone today and they just didn't get it. I think they thought I wasn't trying hard enough or that I was just trying to be on a downer. If only it were that simple. It never ceases to amaze me how much others, who haven't suffered losing a child, underestimate the impact.

I hope the bronchitis clears up soon, not fun.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful picture of you and your children.

I hope the bronchitis clears up soon.

Magpie said...

That's a heartrending, lovely and painful post.

Feel better.

slouching mom said...

such poignant writing.

and your translation is lovely (not that i know the original, but still...).

feel better, julia.

christina(apronstrings) said...

what a wonderful scene, if filled in part with a sad memory. i am so sorry that you are sicky. boo!
i so hope you feel much better soon.

kalakly said...

I tagged you....go see my blog for fun and silly meme

meg said...

I sure hope you are feeling better. And I love the image of you guys dancing and singing.