Think of the color yellow, where light kisses the horizon’s hips good morning. That’s where I imagine my mother helping me tend to the chickens and the pigs crowded around the side of our home. It’s the early afternoon and I can hear the dogs barking as they watch the animals corral around her and wonder where their lunch is. The future is stained with yellow, with my mother, with chicken’s feet. It’s a hue of satisfaction. Soft. Vivid.
My imagination, though, has its limits.
I cannot hear yellow – I see it.
My ears ring.
I cannot taste yellow – I see it.
My tongue dries out.
I cannot touch the future – I see it.
My hands claw at confusion.
I cannot feel the future. I’m scared.
Fear breeds questions, derails certainty. If I ask you to provide the word count for my voice, I give you the power to shape my story. If I ask you to build my cage, it is because I am nervous for the uncertainty of freedom. And somehow the walls you construct feel like reassurance, like the void can’t find me and suddenly I am safe. So I keep asking questions hoping the answers taste like yellow.
I hear my mother’s song, a lullaby about a little girl who cannot rest. The coyote waits for the girl, leaving only if she is brave enough to sleep. I tell my mother I am afraid of dreams. She is angry, she howls. “Let no one act as gravity. You did not learn to stand up just to crawl again. You are the moon,” she says. “If anyone forgets, drown them.”
I do not know the color of this moment. It feels real, it feels certain. I can see it. It looks like heels entrenched into the ground, marking the earth with the weight of my body. Strength feels like force – I give direction, I am the magnitude. If the sky fell tomorrow I would raise my hands and show the world I am Atlas. Strength is certainty, there is no room for questions.
I am here, right now.