Friday, August 31, 2012

Aunt Beast

My sister had her daughter yesterday at 3:23 am. Big themes. Nothing puts a body in mind of big themes like labor, and the very early morning. It takes a whole lot of effort. On the ward, because it was a full moon and lots of women were delivering, there was bellowing. I heard sounds that reminded me that we are all animals. I like being an animal.

Aunt Beast from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time is the kind of beast I want to be and the kind of aunt. She's the fuzzy octopus who is kindly, and smells good. This seems to be an aunt's job. All my aunts smell good. I have a lean one, and a jolly one, and one who cooks really well, and another who plays the harp for the dying. Some of these overlap. It's called music thanatology. I have interesting aunts. In addition I have my mother's long time friends who I also think of as aunts. One keeps chickens, another I shit you not has a wine cave in Tasmania.

She looked into my eyes with those large martian newborn eyes that seem all deep and endless and full of wiseness of another world and I knew I would fight any comer like an elephant seal or a lion or whatever it's biological. She's the elephant calf. I'm the fragrant old matron who knows a thing or two, and has a weather eye, and thick legs.