A handful of water

by Alissa

Last year I grew a baby and wrote one essay, a piece of memoir that brings together my past and my present and the heart of this blog. A handful of water is up now at The Other Journal. Many thanks to my mother for coming to take care of us and making the space for me to write this.

Here’s a taste:

The geographic center of my earliest memories lies in the hot spring–fed streams of the Yellowstone Caldera. I learned to float there, my water wings on, looking up at unpolluted starlight and into the level distance at herds of bison, dusted white by drifting snow. They came to the springs to graze on the winter grasses sustained by the heat of the pools. I watched them through mineral-scented steam—bobbing silently in the circle of my father’s arms—until the animals, with their wet black eyes, turned their heads and walked on. When the rustle and clump of rumination was no longer audible, I lay back in the water, submerged my ears, and listened to the crinkly champagne-bubble sound of rocks, clicking gently downstream on the floor of the river. This is the zero-mile marker from which all of my other experiences can be measured. Holding me lightly on the surface, my father showed me the inevitability of the movement of water, and if we played it right, the joy of our moving with it.


Thanks for reading, friends.