Sunday, 25 January 2015

Questions Children Ask (*and the truth they deserve to hear)

(Picture Credit: My very talented friend Ms Tara Ghale. Lust after more of her work here)

Question: Where do babies come from?
Ans: Babies come from all sorts of beliefs. Belief that our love deserves a face, arms and little wiggly toes. Belief that if our forever is stitched up of people you and I made, we might still make it, because just you and I will eventually wreck everything good we have. 
Belief that if I take the best of you and the best of me and made it into a little human, that would be the sort of magic that would make others believe again. Belief that your ridiculously large, distinctive nose needs to live on in another human so some other boy or girl could fall in love while trying to kiss and bumping noses instead.

Question: Who do you love best?
Ans: My idea of everything I could be. Sometimes I take that idea and pour it neat into another person and for a long time believe that this new person will save me. I also do that with jobs, houses, new projects, diets and puppies. I love above and beyond all else, the idea of the best I could be. I just have no clue how to get there.

Question: What is the sky made of?
Ans: Unfinished love- splattered clumsily with its bits fluffed and tucked into cotton-ball shapes. Sometimes bathed in sunlight, often wiped out by rain; it's skin seared raw with fresh star-shaped tattoos every night.
You see, only pain can sparkle so bright

Question: Do you believe in God?

Ans: We all do. And because of that we're still hurting.

Question: Where do people go after they die?
Ans: Into dust, that floats lightly and swirls right into the air, smoke and pollution above. Then the people we loved best when we were alive, they breathe us in and we live in tiny pockets inside them until they die too. Inside each of us are all the people we've ever loved, made up of all the people they had ever touched.

Question: Why do we have a leap year?
Ans: Because a long, long time ago a pretty, young girl promised a handsome boy that she will be back to kiss him and hear how the story he was telling her, ended. He's still waiting for her, so every four years we give him an extra day, because she might be back anytime and his story does have a mad, wicked end.

Question: How do birds fly?
Ans: Birds were angels that were never any good at obeying God's mission. They were the kids in  the classroom who liked flying the best and never turned in their homework or Good Deeds Practicals on time. As punishment, they were turned into bodies made of feathers with their memories of how to fly erased and exiled to the skies forever. Once in the sky, they remembered when they were happiest and started to fly. 
They fly now out of joy. A crazed joy that only comes, when you get to do that which you love best.

Question: How big is the world?
Ans: Too big on some days and far too tiny on others.

Question: Why do we blink?
Blinking helps us make memories. It is our bodies' method of time keeping. Each time you blink, an old story ends and a new one begins. 
Every night the time between a blink lasts 7-8 hours. That is the exact amount of time your body needs to forget some stories and to remember some. Most people call this sleep.

Question: What makes thunder?
 Thunder is what the end of waiting sounds like. For a phone call, for a dead parent to return, for recognition or sometimes even for your pizza to arrive. Thunder is nature's timer telling you to let the waiting be done.

Question: Why do people kill each other?
Because a lot of people are assholes. 
I'm sorry for using a cuss word darling, but there's no other way to explain it.

Question: What is a black hole?
Ans: It is a cupboard  for safe keeping. 
That's where they store missing socks, dropped pennies, forgotten punchlines, unanswered questions, missing pieces of last nights dream, unsaid wild declarations of love, lost confetti-bomb containers and names of obscure songs stuck in your head. 
Someone lost the piece of paper which had the combination lock to the cupboard, dinosaur years ago.

Question: Why is the water in the sea salty?
That's not water, those are dead people's tears for when they see us make the same mistakes they did- murder, running away from problems, road rage, arson, late hours at work, too many extinct animal species, too few kisses and more emails than required.

Question: What is a wart? And why does grandma have so many?
Warts are beauty reminders, placed on our bodies by nature as we grow older. They are there to remind people who love us, to tell us how beautiful we are. The more warts someone has, the foxier they are, the more often they need to be reminded of it.

Question: Why do people kiss?
Because like ice-cream flavours, people want to know what their different feelings taste like- happy, wildly in love, disappointed, broken at the edges, hesitant, proud, remembering a memory and forgetting another.

                                         (Of perfect vacation skies and footprints in the sand. Last year, Krabi)


  1. That is not why the sea is salty, for it was so long before people and will stay so long after them. Nor is sky made of unfinished love or sparkling pain. Not for children at least. :(

  2. You missed a question!
    "Why do we fall, Bruce?
    So we can learn to pick ourselves up."
    A version of your own for this one!
    Coz everyone loves Batman! Coz you can quote him anywhere and everywhere and it won't be awkward, ever! Coz he loves you too, you know!
    I may have gone overboard there.
    But seriously, he does love you!