Saturday, June 4, 2011

One Step Forward, One Look Back

I went to see a play a month or so ago, and halfway through the performance, one of the players gave a speech about progress. “Every bit of progress,” he said, “comes with a price. Want a telephone? Then you’ll have to give up privacy and the charm of distance. Madam, you may vote; but at a price; you lose the right to retreat behind a powder-puff or a petticoat. Mister, you may conquer the air; but the birds will lose their wonder, and the clouds will smell of gasoline.” My brain heard this and, instead of thinking about computers or cell phones or reality TV, I thought of Violet. I thought of how much it thrills me to see her smile; she smiles so freely now, but her smiles used to be fleeting mysteries of beauty, their cause unknowable, leaving Linda and I to hope that we were their reason for being. Now, Violet naps once, maybe twice a day, so there's more time to play with her and more time to bask in her presence, but gone are the long, shared naps with her nestled on my chest. I won’t ever say that I miss the past more than I love the present, but I’m putting this down so someday, Violet will know that every stage of her progress brought with it something I loved, but each step also meant leaving behind something I would fondly miss.

195 days old

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