Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weapon of Devotion

Today would have been my mother's 58th birthday. 

The most intelligent, contrary, dualistic, enigmatic, wicked and secretive of women. So much so she would reply to a simple question, "How's work going?" with "Well, we're being very personal today."  and that would be the end of the discussion. Never giving a straight answer, always seemingly in control.

"How do you spell diabetic?"
"Did you look it up?"

She once offered me a cookie and when I realized, post bite, it was a dog treat, she only laughed and said, "Why did you even take it?".  As an only child, I would needle her for attention, while she was reading only to have her toss the book aside and exclaim, " You just can't stand that I have a life of my own and I enjoy it, can you???"

My 7th birthday, upset by something my child brain couldn't comprehend we drove into isolation and overwhelmed by emotion she shrieked, braked and slammed the door so hard the driver's side window broke in a thousand pieces and splayed all over my lap as she walked into the brush.  We never talked about it.  No one ever knew her truly.  She would cry darkness and pain.  My first memory is of her wailing.  You don't forget something like that. 

On the up side, I was allowed to stand on my head for "hours", perfecting my yoga stance and eat chips and salsa for dinner on the kitchen counter.  I could pick up sequins off of department store floors while she waited patiently and desecrate her lipsticks to make impromptu paintings.  Pull the cat out ofthe dryer for a photo op and learn how to roller skate spontaneously on an other wise drab Wednesday night [as she wandered dreamily on the sidelines. I've always wondered what exactly she was thinking that night].  One of my favorite memories is of her in her wedge platform sandals and white shorts weed-eating the yard with a delicate chignon balanced precariously on top of her head. Breakfast for dinner and never knowing what the day would bring. Performing high kicks to Billy Joel's Innocent Man.

I've attempted a mix, the first of its kind, though maybe I've been making mixes about her for years and didn't even know it.  It's only recently I've realized the correlation between mother, vessel, emotion and sea and accepted this reality.  There is a club, remember?  Once you're a part of the club, you can never relinquish your membership.  Inside there will always be a treacherous gaping hole or vindictive stubby pebble.  Though it may become smooth with touch and tears over the years, it will never shrink or diminish its relentless existence.  It will become a sort of burdened family; a replacement of what could have been.

Rose 11/2/52-9/28/98

T Rex - Cosmic Dancer [Electric Warrior Sessions]
The Cure - Pictures of You
James - Lullaby
Florence & The Machine - Cosmic Love
Radiohead - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Bjork - Anchor Song
The London Suede - Still Life
Electrelane - Gone Under Sea
Placebo - Ask For Answers
Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 [Tunnels]
Neutral Milk Hotel - Two Headed Boy, Pt 2
Catherine Wheel - Phantom of the American Mother
Local Natives - Airplanes
Radiohead - Street Spirit [Fade Out]
Blur - To The End
Crystal Stilts - Love is a Wave

We're talking atoms, people. Particles of teeny tiny specks of even tinier teenier fragments of a single point of something so small the naked eye perceives it as invisible.

I ponder this as I walk in a stream of wet bronze leaves.

The succession of days that adds up to a life is only a blink. The moment when you started reading this sentence is already the past. You think about this stuff as you get older. When you squint into your future and see a shorter slope than the path that winds behind you. It can cause a slippery sense of vertigo. A tipping sideways melancholy that infuses every lost opportunity with meaning, bittersweet.... You just gotta go with it.
I love her blogs.


Christine said...

i spent time yesterday imagining these stories and trying to conjure what your mom was like, what it would be like to meet her. and then i realized i never commented or told you! such a heel, i am. happy belated birthday Rose.

Genevieve said...

I think you two would have found quite a bit in common conversing for long hours while I sat idly and dreamily in the background. Nice dream :)

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