Sunday, December 19, 2010

bambi and the eyes of the forest

she cried out last night, not long after being put to bed.
her eyes are scary, mommy.
whose eyes? bambi?
 i remind her that her room is safe. that bambi is friendly. that the shadows are not scary, they are hers. she owns them. i remind her that bambi has been on her closet door, above the rack of dress up clothes since we've lived in this house. she knows bambi.
as a child, i used to spend weekends at my dad's house. i would sleep completely covered under the blankets, convinced that if no part of myself showed, i was safe. i was a tad claustrophobic, however, and rigged a way to peek my nose and mouth out of a covered tunnel so that fresh air would keep me sane, a cloak of fabric safe. i would obsess over the curtains, making sure no speck of window was visible because i was convinced there were eyes outside. scary eyes.
the second time she cried, she saw eyes growing out of the dress up clothes. lots of them. so many that her nightlight was not bright enough to shrink the glare from her imagination. i plugged in the too-bright-for-a-nightlight string of christmas lights in her room and taped a piece of paper over bambi.
there is no reason to be scared, mommy. this is my room. 
i cannot stand the forest. it's not the trees or the solitude or even the dark. it is the gateway to the multiplication of every bad thought i have ever stored, filed, began as it festers and comes to life. i can scare myself shitless in no time. i am the perfect case study for the type of brain that does not respond well to hallucinogens. i believe in the possibility of anything. and, for some reason, i believe more in the possibility of evil than i do of good in most situations. i work to keep this at bay. paper taped over corners of my mind at any time. if you walked through the uneven hallways of my imagination, you will find carpet and stone and marble and blood and balloons and the ocean and the darkest part of yourself. i will show it to you, my makeup smeared and music a tad too loud.
i tell my daughter that bambi is friendly. that there are no eyes growing in dress up clothes. i tell her she is safe.
we talk about her fancy gold shoes that are magic. we marvel over her first performance in her very first christmas pageant at school. how she sang so loud and so pretty and she made me cry, my eyes full like ripe grapes. we made plans to make the gingerbread house that has been sitting on the counter for a week. we will stare at the boo-tiful christmas tree, mommy that we finally decorated last night. and i remind her that mommy and daddy are here.
she is safe.

and i crawl back into bed and pull the blankets up over my face, leaving a small space to breath.


  1. I swear, you and your writing are a metaphor for all that is good and wise and bites at your toes when you jump into bed. I am a fan of how you think.

    That picture of Finn in that little white, what? jacket? dress? Oh, hurts the heart. my eyes full like ripe grapes!!!


  2. Wow, Krista. We may share a brain but if only I could string my words together half as beautifully, as powerfully, as you -- I'd be a happy woman. (well, I am a happy woman. but I so admire and enjoy your writing.)

    Like Woman above - -I am a fan of how you think, of your spirals. :)

  3. (and i'm smiling a bit at 'the type of brain that does not respond well to hallucinogenics.' mmmmm...hallucinogenics....:D )

  4. Wow. Your writing is simply stunning - I am gobsmacked. I wish I had just a small portion of your talent.


  5. We sleep the same, you and I. When I was younger I was afraid of so many things...hands under my bed, anything in the dark, electrical outlets that would snake out and grab my ankles as I walked by. There was no comfort, or comforter, for I kept these things to myself. Why share with the flesh and blood monsters? And so I adore your stories of Finn. I feel comforted in reverse.

  6. I don't know if I've ever told you my fears at night during childhood. The closet held HUGE monsters that wanted to eat me but if the door wasn't shut, I couldn't get out of bed to close it because there were snakes all over the floor! I never let my hand dangle over the bed because the snakes would grab hold and then climb into bed with me.

    Finn is so lucky to have a mommy that will listen to her fears and calm them with soothing words, pleasant remembrances and kisses; your grandma would just tell me it was my imagination and go back to sleep. Like who can sleep in a room filled with monsters and snakes????

    To this day, I too am afraid of the woods - trees can make eeery sounds and I know there are shadows of "creatures" that live in there following me, waiting for me to relax.

    Now as an adult, my images are human and take specific shape - just no faces - but their intent is the same. Powerful things, these minds of ours.... Can I sleep in your bed???

    And I don't remember you having that many nightmares when you were younger - maybe Kimmy heard you and got to you before I awoke. Great part about sisters sleeping in the same room.

    Anyway, love you so much and, as always, every entry is a masterpiece, in need of framing and praise. Mom

  7. When I was a little girl, I had a ruffly pink canopy over my bed. It terrified me.

  8. I used to cover up everything (including my face) while sleeping. No part of me was allowed to show.

    These days, I know better. But sometimes we return to who we once were, just to look at things a little differently.

    I hope things get better for Finn. Bad dreams are no fun at all.

    PS your view of the forest = my view of wading out into the ocean. Everything comes up from beneath me in the ocean... I don't like things that can come up from beneath me.

  9. I had no idea that other people slept like I used to - stunned and relieved. I was so scared of the dark and I could just feel the creatures ready to eat me sitting on top of the covers as I trembled under the blankets with my nose sticking out! What a wonderful post- you have a gift for nostalgia, photos and all. She is so gorgeous!
    Have a Happy one Krista- to you and your family!

  10. I know I'm not really getting my wishes in on time. The truth is, it's just after midnight, but I still had to come by and wish you the merriest Christmas season ever. I want to thank you for making my life richer by sharing your blog and by reading mine. You are a blessing to me. Merry, merry Christmas, my friend. May the coming week bring you laughter, joy, short returns lines, and lots of good deals at the after-Christmas sales. ;^) Much love, Relyn


use your kind words.