occasionally i get wrapped up in the small things. fingering the jelly packet at our traditional sunday morning breakfast and wondering about who has touched it before me. where it has traveled. someone works in a factory and watches as it drops into a cardboard box. or they don't notice it at all. but it has been there just the same.
somehow it ends up in a metal tower of stacked jelly and my daughter stacks it atop the table, runs her toy car around it and we put it back where we found it and i hold it or a second, noticing that the peel off top is bent and i wonder about the hands that found it before me and where they went after breakfast and if they love or if they hurt.
i have a photo album handed down to me from my uncle. black and white and sepia portraits from the 1800's, steely eyes and serious faces. they are my family. on my grandfather's side. i stare at them and wonder. which of them did i get my laugh from? how many of them believed in dreaming big? how much loss were they able to hold under the skirts without showing too much leg? these women, their stoic faces, betraying nothing. is that a family trait?
i rearrange finn's room constantly. curate. move things around until they feel right. i do the same thing throughout the house on a pretty consistent basis but its as though i know there is a ticking clock under the floorboard right inside her doorway that will sound at some point, warning me away. an alarm of sorts, acknowledging the end of my reign. so i move books and organize them at will. i move toy chests and arrange pillows and stuffed animals and fold (and refold) clothes.
my mind jumps from here to there and i'm still here, on the couch, drinking coffee. wondering who has touched all the little things in my life before me.