Wonder 27



Charlie seems to have no idea that he’s the type of guy that girls find cute.

I’m his mom, so of course I’ve always thought he was the cutest thing. I love to tease him just so I can see that lop-sided grin of his.


But I’m not the only one who thinks he’s cute. Since his club has been meeting at our place, I’ve been watching the kids in the club, one of them, in particular.

Miranda’s known Charlie since they were little. He met her one day when he took an adventure all by himself to the park. Later, she transferred to his school, and they’ve become good friends.

She lights up whenever Charlie’s around.

I hope she’s not picking up signals that aren’t really signals. Charlie’s so friendly with everyone that he makes people feel special when he talks to them. I can’t tell by watching them if he thinks she’s more special or if he feels she’s regular special.

Either way, it’s pretty clear that she feels he’s most special.


She’s a beautiful young woman.

When I watch Charlie, Yuki, and Miranda meditating together, I wonder what they’re feeling. Are they thinking of each other? Do they feel connected through a shared sense of peace? Charlie looks blissed-out.

I probably shouldn’t feel envious of my kid, but I do. There are times when I see him express a feeling of integration or wholeness, and I think what I wouldn’t give to feel like that.


“The energy of creativity is free,” he was telling Yuki and Hugo. I was drawn to his words, even though I didn’t agree. I’d been facing a writer’s block recently with a poetry collection I was preparing for publication. The form was fine–both on the individual level of each poem and on the composite level of the entire collection. But the essence was missing. My images were falling flat, and every symbol felt trite. I felt dry, and my words were sand.

“The energy of creativity is all around us!” Charlie continued. “In fact, it’s energy! Close your eyes, feel that movement–what is that? That’s life! That’s creativity!”


Yuki and Hugo didn’t look like they were buying it. I couldn’t seem to grasp it, either, though I wanted to.

I started thinking of objections: life flows around and through us, but how do we express it through our work? How do I sit down and write a poem that says something unique about the experience of being alive, without becoming trite?

What keeps Charlie’s insights from being common drivel, platitudes that express only emptiness?


Later, he and Miranda were talking. It’s Charlie’s sincerity that keeps his words from being empty, I saw. He may not have the vocabulary to express what he experiences, but everything he says comes from something he knows, something he’s discovered through feeling, intuition, sensing, being, or exploration.

Miranda seems to get him. I felt a sudden pang watching her smile in understanding as he was talking about patterns of movement that repeat through energetic pulse, music, color perception, breath, brain wave. The type of unity he described is so beyond anything I have ever experienced, let alone conceived of, and he described it as if it were his native language. Where has this boy come from? Has he always had these thoughts, and did he keep them inside of him until he met the right people that he could share them with? This boy, what universes exist within him that I will never be able to join?


Something shifted in me with that realization–it was as if the block slid aside, and words tumbled out. I knew where my poems wanted to go.



We started as one–
this I get.
That breath we shared, same pulse, same blood.
The pain is simply
the separation
of one into

Centrioles move to opposing poles.
The nucleolus disappears.

You will be moving soon,
somewhere away.
I am preparing.

Go, boy.
Leave me to steel myself
for the mitosis
of my heart.

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