June 6, 2006

sshhh…come closer

there is this silence i want to talk to you about today.

it is deep and inviting. and it is happy. not the kind of happiness i have when i know i am a working girl again. not the kind of happiness i had when i managed to finish my almost 12,500-word-assignments, which i must admit again, seems like a miracle now.

perhaps it is like the growing happiness i get when i know i’m cooking. and when i know my recipe is going to turn out right. the salt will be just right. the rotis will all puff up. the vegetables will be evenly chopped. when i would have finished everything on my plate but would greedily want more.

perhaps the silence is like the warmth i feel towards this blind stranger on the number 46-bus. every morning, lead by his faithful guide-dog, i see the man is always smiling. perhaps he feels he must look cheerful even if he cannot see the other stern-looking-office-goers around him. if he could, would he too be like them, i wonder.

today, the bus was more crowded than usual. a young man took the blind stranger by his hand to offer him his seat. the dog, with no place to go, explored my calves with his wet muzzle. that was warm, yes, through the quiet five-minute bus journey.

and there is still this silence. inside me. content. sometimes it speaks to me in whispers, like my teacher did to me in class one morning, excited: “how is it going?…is it public yet?…you look fantastic!” there were seven of us girls in the class, and one teacher. but that morning, there was just one woman, whispering to another.

she knows about the silence. most women do. anytime now, the silence will change to a soft rhythm. a rhythm that will envelop. a rhythm that will grow into a melody only i can hear. a melody that will have a face, a body, tiny hands and legs. and one day, those legs will kick.

that day, i will tell you about another music again.
the music of motherhood.