I am on my knees, aware of God and my joints. Kneeling down low, my face in the carpet, I close my eyes to ignore the crumbs. My heart beats in my ears, I feel the earth pull my skin to the ground.

We don’t feel how urgent this pull down to the earth is when we’re right side up. It all feels normal until we spin it around the wrong way. I’m Phoebe Buffay and this gravitational pull feels more like a push.

There’s this puffy skin over my right eye that I try to convince myself will go away with proper sleep. But I’m coming to accept that no amount of sleep can knead this skin back into place and this hangover eyelid is here to stay.

Gravity doesn’t wave white flags.

1930 family photo

This is a photo from the late 1920s, my grandmother as a girl with her parents, Dorothy and Dale. I know Dale looks like Dracula, it’s okay if you’re thinking that. I’ve always been told I resemble my grandma, her round brown eyes and straight across eyebrows. My son looks just like her, for those of you who know.

But there is something familiar in Dorothy’s eyes, something of age, of history, of puffy eyelids covering lashes. This woman, my great grandmother, lived.

The earth pulled her down the same way, fragile skin battling the wind, the sun, the laws of nature. She came as a miracle and lived as one, too, though I’m not sure she knew who to give the credit to.

Even miracles get wrinkles. Maybe especially miracles.