When the thunder clapped such that the walls shook hard, and my bones shook violently in my bed, I thought the end of the world had come. It was one of those jolt-awake impressions, where dreams leak into this reality and we don’t know which way is up.
I scoped the house then for frightened children, my heart trembling long into the morning’s dark. And when the violence passed over, I thought, “this isn’t–this can’t be–our intended life.”
So when Maggie said her grandma’d said “an immaculate house is a sign of a wasted life” and I thought about the constant battle for balance I wage between domestic order and the richness of days well-lived, I remembered that fear-stricken thunder thought. “No,” I murmured with a glance at my table and floors, “the end of the world has not come, after all.”
The end of the world has not come for me, and it has not come for the broken voice I hear over the radio at 5 o’clock. Only, that broken voice belies thunders that are physical shells, and lightenings that are the literal explosions of all that woman loves.
We are still here, that war-beaten woman and I. We are here and the world is still spinning in all its mundane glory; its shadow and mirth, its sorrow and joy, its violence and peace, its dying and birth, its tediousness and shock alike.