D.L. Mayfield

living in the upside-down kingdom


today i delighted in skipping out on the last day of a fancy writing conference and instead worked in my terrible little garden and took my beautiful and irritable children to a park and napped with my husband and read a fascinating essay or two.

driving back from a dinner with very interesting and talented people (who were in town for the conference) i saw mt. hood and gasped aloud. i drive this stretch of freeway constantly, out to my neighborhood in the sticks of the city. and the mountain always surprises. freeways are so gray and dull and monotonous, which is why the mountain looming above it all always shocks me. tonight it was pale pink, glowing in the setting sun, the color of the cherry blossoms that are now in full bloom everywhere in portland. it delighted me but also filled me with that strangled sense of despair. the same sense i get when i’m sitting in an apartment of my refugee friends, of the quiet moments we have together. i feel the same way around them as i feel around mountains; they are the things i know i cannot ever fully capture with my phone, so i never even try. i wish you could see it, though. i wish everyone could see it all.

i think that’s why i write. i wish everyone could experience the despair and the delight of my life. i know this is an impossibility, but i think i will keep trying all the same, every once and awhile.

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