Yes

I have a new mantra.

I say the word “yes,” over and over, out loud, or to myself. Every time I say it I feel I am setting sail on a small sailboat. I draw my finger

in the water. The water is warm and glittering in the sun.

The past can sort itself out, without me.

I allow the feelings.

I sat up on the edge of the bed.

I was seeing my mother, at that Greek diner in Herald Square, the last day– I see her face, as she ponders whether to buy pants. “I don’t

need them, really,” she said. This was true. But when we had something to shop for, we could distract ourselves. It was some kind of

prayer. A tiny hope. Like the spark wheels they had in Central Park, that made you believe in the “it” that we all carried together, never

really doubting.

She died the next day.

Thinking he was asleep, I tried to freeze my grief, rising raw, in my neck, eyes, flooding my walls

of time, acceptance, numbness.

I ached for her. Put my hand over my mouth and whispered, “Mom.”

“Come here,” he said softly.

I cried into his neck, coughed and shook.

He cradled my head. He said nothing.

I wanted to stay there forever.

About Celia Farber

Celia Farber is a journalist, author, and editor based in New York City, who grew up in Sweden and New York City. Farber has written on a variety of subjects for SPIN, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper’s, Salon, New York Press, and many more. In 2008, Celia Farber won the Semmelweis International Society’s Clean Hands Award For Investigative Journalism.

Comments

  1. john powell says:

    …and it was so so so exquisitely perfect. Perfectly perfect.

    I’m disturbed to the point of inconsolable crisis. I think I’m going to collapse in the anguish. It was so beautifully and exquisitely flawless.

    What doubt drove you to feel obligated to submit to it’s demand that you must defile your perfect, your beautiful?

    It saddens me, profoundly, truly.

  2. john powell says:

    Oh no. Why? Why? It was so beautiful. So beautiful. And the title was so elegant.

    The line I referred to is not gone. I took a screen shot of the whole original. Do you want me to send it to you? Did you destroy it?

    Such a loss. Such a loss. It was so very beautiful.

  3. john powell says:

    …”to stay there forever.” There. That image.
    Imaging refuge. Refuge from images. There.
    Refuge in that mantra. There.
    Those walls. That flood.
    I recall revisiting it all,
    in Sanskrit, and on a whispered warm breeze
    (like the breeze above a candle flame)
    fluttering to here inside,
    from cosmic silence arrived
    from most-far, most-wide,
    and from the farthest night
    which sails there, here
    (being drawn by your finger)
    deep above all mantras of grief
    and of this relentless life.

    • Celia Farber says:

      Dear John,

      How can I now justify that I edited the piece after I hit “publish” so now the line you refer to is gone. But please have trust. I have my reasons. I am grateful for your hearing. How you hear. That you stay.

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