by Tovli Simiryan
You were sixty-five the year I was born and when I was fourteen you reminded me it was time to decide on a philosophy of life. If you recall, my parents had few plans to invest in their only daughter and their decisions were sorely affected with an uncanny suspicion toward unplanned wind storms, three-dimensional chess matches, or change resulting from the intentionality of any offspring developing a quick and insurmountable wit. At fourteen, it was as if life was forever grey with low hanging fog refusing to burn away unless I opened your door; sipped tea from pink china, attracting patience, saving strength and settling for this pensive assumption: “Life is too long, much too long.” At eighty, your eyes still sparkled with a residue of youth; long, unplanned journeys; you answered as if forecasting another sojourn, this time with your great granddaughter along for show, “S-s-short—life is forever... but never long enough.” You would be 120 years old at the end of this month and I thought you’d like to know it has been nothing more than limitless, brilliant mountains that eventually sloped into unending plains, surrounding clear mirrors that became the deepest lakes and rivers I could have imagined. I am still drinking from your pink cup, which has collected many chips along the way and when it’s time to light the candle on your special day of remembrance, I may let your light burn until the darkest place in the universe admits to hope and is forced to shine, like a fat moon into the last quiet place I have left to visit.
Tovli Simiryan, author of Somewhere They'll Love You, is an award-winning writer living in West Virginia with her husband, Yosif, and mother-in-law, Ester. She has published two books of poetry: "The Breaking of the Glass" and "Fixing the Broken Glass." A collection of short fiction, "Ruach of the Elders - Spiritual Teachings of the Silent," will be marketed in 2008. (This piece is dedicated to Daisy Alice Kellogg.)