Fucking hell. Does anyone really understand the cracks in reality this kind of thing causes? One moment, there’s life, the universe, and everything…and the next, there’s something more, something new that wasn’t accounted for when we were taking stock just a moment ago.
Imagine looking down at your arm. You can see the hair, fine and soft (or not-so-fine and not-so-soft, depending on whether your parents were freaking werewolves or not)…the occasional freckle…how the skin so smoothly bends and contracts as you flex at your elbow… Now imagine the skin starting to crack and split, and instead of blood welling up and muscle and bone protruding into air, you see more flesh, a pulsing growth expanding outwards. It’s coming from you, but you’re not doing this: you’re frozen still, watching as some unearthly force expands from within you.
Fingers appear, clawing forth, and they have the gall to grab on to your own arm, the very flesh they’re breaking through, to help pull them along. And then, like they’re goddamn flowers, they stretch forth, and are drawn outwards, a hand and a wrist following, and then another pillar of flesh, with it’s own soft and fine (or not-so-much) hair springing to life, and then the bend where an elbow should be, and is…and the next thing you know, you’ve got another fucking arm, a third one, sticking out of you.
I think this may be how the universe feels each time someone new comes along, except, instead of having Steve or Clive write the story…the universe gets Norman Fucking Rockwell to do the narrative. Because, despite how bizarre, how uncertain and surprising something like this is, the universe loves it, celebrates it…is defined, ultimately, by how full-bodied it embraces it, each time it happens.
All of this is to say that five years ago today (okay, yesterday…I had laundry to get started before I could sit down to write, sue me), my daughter Jane Barrie Hunt was born. One moment, the universe existed, as it had before…and the next, it was changed, fundamentally, and Jane was here, and nothing would ever be the same again.
I can’t even come close to describing what it’s done to me. If, on my deathbed, I look back at the entire volume of work that I’ve accomplished over long decades of fruitful creative expression, and glimpse just the faintest outline of the suggestion in all those words of how important she is to me, then I will die with a smile on my face, whatever comes after; I will tiptoe through the sulfur and brimstone, knowing that there’s a tiny chance that someone, someday, will glimpse the depth of my love for my little girl.
Happy birthday, my Boo. Were you not here, and had I an inclination of what you would mean to me, I would sunder the universe, and defy the very face of creation to bring you to me.