like a lightning bug


or do you call it a firefly?

either way, picture one right now.

what do you see?

do you picture the bug and what it looks like or do you picture the flash of light in the darkness? perhaps the flash of light is as much as you know of what a lightning bug looks like. they are not super easy to catch and then examine.

and who is interested in that anyway? who wants to see the bug part? i think everyone is mostly interested in its lightning.

i’m not sure why i’m thinking about lightning bugs today.

no, i do know why.

i am thinking of them because i want to be able to write down what i’m feeling today. right now. i want to sort through what’s going on inside of me. and i’m thinking about the fact that what we feel is transitory. does not define us and our every waking moment and action.


if you write it down, it gains some permanence. especially for someone else reading what you’re written. the words on the page are all they have. they aren’t you, can’t climb inside your mind, your skin. can’t know when you are now out of the funk you’re in or are now down when you were previously up.

even i, who am inside my mind and skin already, will look back at what i write today and might only be able to remember what’s written on the page. i might not remember everything else that made today today.

i ask myself if i want to give this moment a lasting place. i’m on the fence about it.

so i think of lightning bugs.


yesterday was may 18. my dad’s birthday.

i spent most of the day thinking about how numb i felt about him being gone. like it didn’t seem to matter to me. i didn’t allow myself to be horrified or to feel bad that i wasn’t spending the day missing him and aching because of his absence.

it’s okay that i was okay yesterday. it doesn’t mean i love him any less than someone else who missed him yesterday and wished he was around to call and to talk to.

but it was noticeable. i noticed that i didn’t feel much.


today, i feel more fragile. not necessarily just about my dad and his death. more generally fragile. and afraid.

scared because i know that death can come knocking at anytime for anyone. that people are left behind who are hurting and sad and confused.

scared because i don’t feel like i could handle something hard like that today. and so many people that i know and love and people that i don’t know but want to love are dealing with that today. and every day.

fragile because i don’t know if i will have anymore children. or even one more child. fragile because i am uncomfortable in my inability to let the unknowableness of it all sit there inside of me and just be. i am oscillating between sadness and hope and all the feelings in between and can’t settle. and i want to settle. because i don’t know how to function in a state of unsettledness.

sad because i am not pregnant. i don’t care that it’s been a few weeks. my body went through a whole lot. my body and mind worked so hard. i should throw my heart in, too. my heart was in it to win it. and it takes time to heal. time to let everything work through my system.

i guess i need to give myself more time. be okay that i still want to cry – and do cry – sometimes.

i’ve just got so many feelings today. so many emotions.

they have weight. they’re sitting in my throat. they’re pressing on my chest. they’re demanding my attention. demanding to be given a voice. a chance to see the light of day.

or to flash like a bug in the night?

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3 Responses to like a lightning bug

  1. Carol says:

    I saw lightning bugs in Pennsylvania in 2003.
    Why do you think I keep asking how you are? It has nothing to do with lightning bugs, everything to do with you and your great disappointment.
    So, now you have told me how you are.


  2. Carol says:

    What’s the difference between a lightning bug and a firefly?
    You’re a good writer, Alcy.


  3. mar says:

    i miss the fireflies and i miss you. and i love you.


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