Michaela’s mother

A seafarer shipwrecked on an island writes a message, bottles it, tosses it into the waves. (Reporter: After all this time, the question remains:) Where is the message now? (Reporter: What became—has become—of Michaela?) In the crevice of a jetty in the Caspian? Aloft detritus in the dead Sargasso? And if the bottle smashed on a rock, if the message disintegrated in salt? But it existed.

Where there is a wound there is a subject—the deeper the wound, the more the subject becomes itself… Would we be closer, Michaela and I, if the wound went even deeper?

A week before she was taken, I dreamt that I walked among a grove of tamarind trees, one I’d warned the children not to climb because they were often crawling with cats. And in the dream as I walked a cat jumped onto my shoulder. I remained calm. Immediately the cat transformed into a little girl with golden blonde hair. She leapt onto the grass and ran off to play. Then she returned. I was sitting on the grass. She placed her arms around my neck. With such tenderness. Then the girl vanished, and the cat was back. It spoke slowly, and in a human voice: “Only in the first hours of the night can I transform myself into a girl, while the creature is busy with the twelve dead.” Then it returned to the tamarind tree and I awoke.

Many months after her abduction I remembered the dream. Michaela—it was Michaela. I had found her in the dream. I was able to find her—even before she was taken. But one cannot go beyond the center. I can go back and find Michaela (M: Where there is a wound…) (Reporter: The question remains:) I can go to the center but no further. Michaela cannot be brought here with me.

Next