Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dear Grandma

    Dear Grandma,
    I remembered you this morning as I was up, too early with a kind of pregnant, sleep-deprived loneliness that I'm sure you would understand. I was looking out at our Sea, God's gift to us while we've been living in Azerbaijan (it may as well be ours, we can look at it every day as much as we like). It has a funny character and I knew at once you would want to know what it was like.
    This morning at first the Caspian Sea was just pretty. It was sort of mute while the sky took the stage with its peachy pink and thin blue you only see in early mornings, which seems like it would disappear in a puff of smoke, or tear its sheer veil if you put your hand out to touch it.
    But the sun retreated  behind clouds and began to play with its reflection on the water; for a moment the water was a gingerbread cookie, crinkled and dark.
    Then as I stared it began to glow (bright, bright, BRIGHT, remember?) and suddenly the portal opened into that Living Fire Land of Bism, a place at the Bottom of the World where gold is alive and jewels are drinkable if only you have the courage to throw yourself headlong into the burning chasm before it shuts forever. It scintillated in my vision like crushed tin foil that got mixed with the burning pile, glowing and crackling rough
    (In Azeri, "bizim" means "ours", and the national symbol is flames of fire, which in some places here actually does spring from the dead ground of its own accord, always burning but never burning up. "Aslan" is the word for "lion" as well. I begin to wonder how much Lewis knew of this tiny land.)
    But then I saw the camel, and realized the sea was actually a desert sunset, that was why it was shining so gold. A lone dromedary was standing, stock still in against the glowing heat of the sand.
    (Must I explain? Well, perhaps... it was a water tank high up on stilt legs, silhouetted dark along with the domed roofs of the houses on our hill.)

    I miss you, Grandma! Thank you for always being interested in the way I saw things. I'll try to keep on keeping my eyes open for your sake (although I'm sure you see them all much clearer from your vantage point now).
     Your loving granddaughter,

No comments:

Post a Comment