It was feeling swirling around the thick, nervy pulp, “I love you.” As if it was written in breath, encapsulated in a still, transparent moment she traced back to herself. But where had it come from? Out of what peace did the courage to admit something so fundamentally true arise? Surely not in the tiny bits of her lost in the day-to-day survival of it all; not in the irregular routine, she made fathomable, committing all life’s shortcomings to history. “I love you,” erupted into sound the way meticulous silence and conflicted emotion escape a crowded room. It pressed up against a hidden resting place within her, a foothold somehow overlooked or requiring geometric proof that change was possible.
“I love you?” she thought to herself. For the first time, since hearing it all those many years ago, as a little girl who had been taught to mind her place in the world (however frightful or dismaying it might have been), her mother’s words came back to her like a bit of forgotten magic that had been whispered, once, in a far away place lost to the sentries of the mind. “I love you.” An encryption that would survive all the harsh realities, a mother’s sacred attempt to give her daughter something for when she would not be there—a wisdom to see the unavoidable truth, to know the limitations of gravity.