Saturday, February 26, 2011

Love, Mom

"My mother was an engineer."
"My mother has dementia."

I catch these stories to myself, and step back in astonishment. Is my mother really fitting neatly into this polarized projection?
She is actually as unimaginable as myself. She is/not. She is living dreaming. She is "Oh, my god, look at those snowflakes!" Argument, question, confusion, exactly as she is, perfectly herself, can be no other way, in spite of the memory-breadcrumbs leading to...nowhere.

When this body is tired and the TV is too loud, conflict sometimes arises--things are not as peaceful, as clean or easy as this household manager character wants. This makes no difference to the intimate reality, the honest disconnect in Mom's brain, the complete and utter success of the Way It Is, the way I am in the moment. Mental note to self: buy headphones for the box. Mom doesn't like silence, and is quite deaf. Laughter inside.

I notice that her physical pain can be immense, but that her mental suffering is lessening as she sheds more and more of the conditioned "adulthood". Precious. So is this learning that my mother cannot be lost, as she is within me...her horse-and-dog attachments, her beautiful draftsmanship, shaky notes on the refrigerator, long hair needing a trim, story and forgetting. Thank god pain, expectation and memory ends. Thank god S/He is that kind, even when I am not.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love and Gratitude

My friend Christine over at Mystic Meandering wrote beautifully about arrows to the heart...for months, now, I've experienced one after another in the form of some significant loss in my story. Ah, Cupid! Knock it off, already! I can't take anymore! (I'm sorry...but the cherub has become an imp with oversized canines, gleefully shooting this most tender organ full of bleeding wounds.)

I'm lying, of course, about being able to take any more. I should be dead by now, and here I am, writing to myself, aka You. I don't even know how this is possible. I don't know how or why I'm still breathing--and not only that--able to follow the breath like I follow the tide while walking on a rainy beach, able to feel the brightness on the inhale and the dimming on the exhale, the hum of life within and without. Perhaps I really have died at the determined hands of an ancient baby. If so, it was necessary and appropriate.

I could start a gratitude list by offering deep thanks to this most gruesome of little archers. It's as if death by arrow was the only way to get the pesky cardboard Valentine out of the way, so the open tenderness of the Real Thing could make a steady appearance, could gasp and cry enough for me to recognize it for what it is. Newborn, again, still. 

Thank you for sending me flowers (twice!) in colors that compliment this room. How could you know? I've never even met you! Love you and your version of sunshine.

Thank you for taking the dog (my unconditional friend) without question and with such love, and for calling and asking if I was okay, and telling me that he is loved, will always be loved, no matter his actual fate.

Thank you for being my beautiful, caring children, having such faith in me and in the strength of the little clan facing such big storms. This is what "tight" means. This is stepping out of preconceived roles. This is amazing.

Thank you for being my lovely siblings, full of such character, astonished at our piling-up years, willing to hold my hand in the middle of the night on a mountain, to say things like "You know who you are" and "Just call me if you need anything" and "What's really going on is..." and "Hell yeah, Maria, go!"

Thank you for being my fallible and incredible parents, doing the best you could with what you had, showing me the rough underside of a gorgeous tapestry. I needed to know both sides. I needed to know that I am loved--knots, frayed edges, unravellings and all, and that I could still love you, too. I needed to be invited in. I will always need you.

Thank you to all the brave souls who put their words, art, music and deepest selves into the world for me to discover, delight in, puzzle over, be astounded by, in awe of, and permanently shaped took massive courage to do that! I have taken you in and followed you out like a river. Bless you.

My beautiful friends--offering hands, food boxes, space to run to, smiles, embraces, tolerance, understanding, tribal codes, past/future-life karma of all kinds, ridiculous jokes, false hope when necessary, brutal truth when appropriate, insisting I be more, do less, grow, hide, keep loving...such craziness, affection and brother/sister/soulhood! Thank you.

My lovers (all gone at this writing)...absolute mirrors, though I didn't usually comprehend and couldn't often see. There were moments, though, when we gazed at each other and felt pure beauty, sheer agony. I am humbled and privileged to have touched you so intimately, and understand you all now as somehow perfect. I can turn myself inside out and still know the love...eternal gratitude, in all ways, my best teachers.

Though you can't hear me, because I'm not real--I must thank the vast and impersonal Universe, which includes everything material and non, furry and feathered, rigid and tentative, logical and mystifying, vegetable, mineral, unclassified or multidimensional. Everything...the sum of which turns out to be No Thing-- such space and freedom the nexus of an intimacy so profound (!) that I have to give up the struggle to separate, individuate, and defend myself against totally ruthless and eternal love. Your very Not-ness simply allows me, this, us, This, to be, and to shine meaningful light all over the place with no conflict. Oh, my Beloved! All of it, all of You. I do care. I know You know what I mean...thank god.

I must also thank those connections yet to be made by this woman, already written in stardust and DNA, enfolded in the Heart of Hearts...potential friends, family, lives and livelihoods, paths, worlds and fallen leaves: I am who I am because you are what you are, and I know that even now, we move each other across space and time as if it wasn't there. Cause, effect, fate, freedom. We are all of it, and I love you. :)

Peace and blessings!