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Here is my advice: unsolicited
In belongings and animals and people. Baggage is heavy. And usually winds up doubling as furniture when you end up staying in a place made for passing through.
Never stay with anyone who loves what they hate about you and hates what they love about you. No one should fall on that sword.
If you feel like dying, sleep on it. If you wake up and still feel like dying, run. Run fast and far and run for your life.
Never, ever, give up the life you love for the one that someone else, or worse, fear- told you was better.
And know that I love you. A love that I never knew in my own life and a love that I have only because I have you.
This is the thing that people with mothers need to know-
You won’t always have your mother.
You will lose her.
You could lose her now.
You could be losing her at this moment and not know it.
You could be losing her at this moment,
and she doesn’t know it.
This is the thing that sons and daughters do not know.
No matter how old we are.
And when it’s too late.
We know it down deep because the moment you were born into us-
we knew that at any moment,
we could lose you.
We knew it before you were born.
We knew that we could lose you
the moment we became aware
that we had you.
The tug and pull of knowing that we have,
and that we have not,
at the same time.
And that we will never have control again-
Fight as we may.
Fight as we must.
Fight as we do.
Perhaps fathers know this.
But no father knows from the moment a mother knows.
No son knows.
A daughter will know just as her mother did.
Ironically all the knowing in the world does nothing to compare with the not knowing.
Knowing you can lose.
Knowing you will lose.
But never knowing when.
So. A mother knows in an instant of a moment’s knowing-
But children with mothers….and we are all children,
you don’t know.
But it’s true.
And it’s never about guilt.
You will think that it is-
but you are wrong.
It is never about your guilt-
those times when we want you closer-
wearing that coat we love to see you in.
Holding our hand across the street, from the car to the playground,
And when leaving our site for a second,
It is not your guilt we seek to elicit.
It is our guilt we wish to cut out-
the moments lost,
that we ourselves created as lost between us.
And we seek relief from it in new the moments-
met with the loss of moments that now, you create.
That is the tangled web we weave.
Around our lives and our hearts.
Around the things you will remember when I am gone.
Even bad mothers are missed.
Absent mothers are missed more in death
because we elevated them so high in life.
We had to help them rise above their own lacking.
We had to hope them into who they weren’t.
And we mourn her hard when she is gone.
Not the bad mother,
But the Hope mother.
Not that mothers mean to be bad.
Or can be bad,
but just that they can’t seem to be the mothers way we need them to be.
The way they wanted their mother to be.
Bad mothers are a hard habit to break.
Maybe that’s why we miss them more when they are gone.
Because we have to kill the bad mother inside of ourselves as well.
This is the one thing all children with mothers should know-
Your mother will be gone.
Even if it takes days,
When she is gone-
when she leaves you-
it will be now and instant.
It will be a breath in that never breathes out.
Or a breath out that never breathes in again.
Or a breath held in your chest.
It will sit in your heart-
in your soul-
like a rock.
A cool black rock that the sun surrounds,
but never makes warm again.
Now that you know.
Maybe go home more often.
Maybe a little earlier.
Hold her hand-
because you hold her heart.
Wear the coat.
Wear the sweater.
Wear HER sweater.
Read the book she mentioned.
Read her favorite book.
Take her for coffee,
Or make her dinner.
Say, I love you.
Say, I miss you.
Say nothing at all
and just linger a little while
where she can breathe you in.
Help her to know that she may lose you,
But that isn’t happening right now.
happy mother’s day children.
I was sitting here reading Rumi, and came to the end of a poem. Flipping the book closed and marking the page with my hand. I stroked the cover of the book fondly.
I looked out among the humanity before me- clearly defined as “the public pool”
And my thoughts wandered-
I came to in the middle of a question I was asking out loud in my mind- “how do I know Jesus was even real?”
And then I opened the book.
Chapter 19~Jesus poems:
The population of the world.
Rumi speaks of God
And it resonates with me.
Or it resonates within me?
The questions begs-
God or resignation?
I don’t know.
I fold the corner of the page.
Another earmark on my heart.
Another corner folded-
Into two more corners.
Can I not lose my edges?
Can I not learn to roll with the round fullness of my soul?
Can god not be the beginning
And the end of this soul that I have so graciously and selfishly
Can God not be both, and?
Can god not be all and science and sum to equal the darkness?
Can god not be the darkness?
Isn’t god the darkness
Before it is the light?
Isn’t god the light before darkness?
Can I call any of them,
Isn’t god screaming right now from within my soul-
that I am Rumi
The eternal sleep that I know
is as certain (perhaps?)
As the eternal existence that never ended.
And isn’t God both?
I drive fast, Breaking laws and speed limits,
With a dying chicken in my arms.
I tell her,
You will not die alone.
My nails are painted and they match
The dying chicken in my arms.
This is my mundane life-
Minus the mundaneness.
We are buff colored gold.
With a splash of red.
Her in the eyes and on the head.
Me on the ring finger.
She is natural beauty.
I am glittered unnatural.
She is purring in my arms while I kiss her feathers.
She smells so earthy.
More natural than I can ever hope to be.
Claim to be
I am holding my dying chicken on the cold steel table.
I make sure the coolness of it touches her because she has a fever.
We both have fevers from life.
Our mundane lives.
Minus the mundaneness.
She has is a brace and beautiful chicken.
She came from squalor.
The wrong side of the tracks that she never chose.
Caged up and moved around.
Left in mud.
Her perfectly crooked toes, once frozen in place for god only knows how long.
She comes from a brood of strugglers. Of starving girls just like her.
I always take in the most outwardly broken to heal what’s inwardly wrong with me.
Whose soul am I saving?
All souls are the same,
The chicken deserves to live.
She’s not just a chicken.
She’s a chicken with a soul.
She rests in my arms.
I’m taking her home to rest.
For the night.
For two nights.
This is my mundane life.
There’s nothing at all mundane about death.
This morning I am having breakfast with a pair of socks. Actually- with a pile of laundry that I find painfully difficult to fold.
Heaped up on the table,
Next to the socks- folded,
Next to my plate of fresh eggs.
Eggs that never got cold- from chicken to pan, to plate.
This morning I am having breakfast with a pair of folded socks.
And trying not to cry.
Not the kind of alone I rant and rave for-
Not the kind that my motherhood screams and cries and
Goddamnit- why can’t I just have time to myself?!
Not that. Not solitude.
Just alone with reminders of the things that need to be done
And the people I miss that the things belong to.
And when I do cry-
I will probably wipe my tears with the laundry.
Using the painfully difficult to do,
To comfort the painfully unavoidable thing I often can’t stop doing.
If they noticed me the way I need to be noticed-
Would the loneliness end?
Would solitude find me?
Would I feel any less a failure and perhaps,
Of anything really.
Life is so much to do.
And it seems I’ve done nothing.
I’m standing in a foot of water,
Trying to be deep-
But all I can do is drown.
And if I say-
Thank you for inspiring me to breathe,
You take that as an invitation to save me and I find myself filling the pool a little bit more so that I can hold you under and watch you save yourself-
I don’t understand the question.
My head cannot swim around it and my thoughts cannot nail it down in place long enough to swim around the answer-
It offends me.
Perhaps I have lived poorly.
Or was poorly lived.
Is that even a life? Is there a better question?
The answer is, you’re right. I’m lonely and nothing feeds and nourishes this intellectual-
I am standing in a foot of water, and I’m trying to be deep-
But all I can do is toss pebbles that sink like rippleless stones.
Nothing I do seems to go out-
It just drowns within.