Sunrai and the Planets

I don’t have a lot of say in how or where I spend one minute to the next. I just have to accept my circumstances, or at least that is what I’m expected to do. I do, however, have control on what I can focus my eyes on, and my thoughts and observations while doing so. That freedom is mine despite all else that is outside of my control. Perhaps that is the ultimate freedom. Most of my days, and nights for that matter, are spent in bed. If I look to my left, there is a window with an expansive view of a valley, the colours of the undulating hills and trees varying depending on the time of day, and the cleanliness of the glass. I’ve yet to see a change in season, but I’m told that’s coming. That view is dependent, of course, on whether the curtains are open. If they are drawn then to my left is the rather unfortunate choice of floral fabric that I have no choice but to avert my gaze from. To my right is a wardrobe and various other pieces of bedroom furniture, including a much larger bed which doesn’t interest me much unless it is occupied, though most of the time it is empty and I am the sole occupant of the room. The only other viable option to while away my waking hours is to look right above, and that is where things have taken an interesting turn of late.

When I was first moved to my current room, there was simply a chipboard-surfaced ceiling with evenly spaced, exposed wooden beams. There wasn’t much to do except perhaps count the number of beams, but numeracy is not my strong point. But now, although the chipboard and beams remain, there is an added attraction. Suspended from the ceiling at the foot of my bed is a solar system mobile, with the planets fixed to three separate arms, carrying out their orbit around the sun, albeit not at the actual speed they do in real life since:

a. That would be moving too slow for me to perceive it with the finite attention span I have;

b. I don’t think the two who job share the head honcho role in this joint (let’s call them Team HH) and spin it occasionally for their amusement as much as mine would actually know how to spin it at a realistic rate;

c. Considering that multiple planets rest on the same arm, it is physically impossible for each planet to rotate at its actual speed.

Team HH would no doubt be documenting progress and sharing it with others if they knew I could recite the first three letters of the alphabet in the correct order. But I digress. When I am placed prone in my bed, whether I’m actually tired and in need of rest isn’t always a consideration. At times I am placed there for no apparent reason which obviously greatly displeases me, and I let this be known as best as possible, to which my protests are usually met with a condescending song about sleep time, a stroke of my cheek or what seem like endless kisses, which brings me to the introduction of the solar system into my universe.

Life can be described as pre and post solar system mobile. I just love looking at that mobile. It speaks to something so deep inside me that I am not able to yet articulate, not even in my private thoughts, but the best I can do is smile and speak the few words in my vocabulary that I use to express my pleasure- “aah goo” and “laa”, which cute as they sound do a great disservice to the thinking that goes on inside my mind.

Looking at the planets gives me the same feeling I get when I have a warm bath- some kind of elusive memory about a time and place that I can’t name or even describe, but the knowledge that I was there is so real, that a bath or contemplation of the gently moving mobile brings the emotions of that somewhere/sometime rushing back to me in an uncontrollable wave of euphoria that simply leaves me beaming or laughing. Incredibly, when Team HH are bathing me or spinning the solar system and see my reaction, they smile every single time, no fail, making me smile and laugh more and the cycle continues. Maybe that is what my memory is of, some kind of cycle I can’t quite describe. I have a feeling the key is in the phrase that is thrown about quite a bit in my presence- “I love you”. I might just sleep on it, again.


Write about a person who is forced, by circumstance or outside agency, to observe a limited view for an unlimited time. Prompt from this site.

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