Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Oh to write again.....

Oh, to write again.
It has been far to, far too, very far away too, too long that the creative spark has left my barren brain, only to be replaced by this academic alien.  I don't know this alien.  I like her but don't really know from where she came, or even where she is going.

She wants to write a book.  Herbert Gretz is the man she will write about.  She has notes and notes in her iPhone, in her scattered notebooks, in her mind...somewhere....between stats and hypothesis, autism and job development.  Somewhere in this pile of muck lay her creative soul, asleep, yet she awakes in fits, to pen a point
that popped into head, or she stole from a conversation at work and school.

I will write that book.  After I take a test, and do the research that will lead to academic publishing.  What?  Peer reviewed?  I remember peer review was what happened in my youth.  They would look at me and tell me what they thought - my peers - mean as it was back then.  Because I wanted more.  I sought more.  More than my mother, my siblings; more than I imagined was more that was wanted.

Oh, to write again.  Oh, the tale I will tell.  If only I could get past the cork in my brain.  I feel it coming back.  Oh, to write again.  It will be joyous.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Do Not Go Gentle

“Something to remember me by,” was the first thing that popped into my head staring at her gaping jaw, open, lifeless, as remembered umpteen (her favorite word) times on the couch, a drop of drool at the corner that was tilted; it could be either way, left or right, there was always a drop of saliva daring to fall onto her lap, but it never did – why – probably due to the raspy dragging in of breath that sucked it back up each time it threatened to let go of the dried and wrinkled crevice corner of her mouth.  Each time (and there were many) she engaged in a stunt that evoked disdain from her children, it would result in, if only briefly, a moment of elation she could then stow in her “I gotcha again!” stockpile of personal pleasures at pissing off everyone, and she would dismiss our repulse with, “something to remember me by!”

“For God’s sake, this is your final expression?” was all I could think, as the reality of her finally gone kept smacking me on the head, unbelieving, waiting for her to open her eyes – “fooled ya” – and once again the nagging would begin, relentless as it had been up to the moment the nurse injected the lethal dose of morphine and Ativan.  “You know she won’t wake up,” the nurse had quietly warned, accomplice to the final act of snuffing out a life.  A slight nod, unnoticeable to the naked eye, was delivered from us.  She, who had no desire to deliver us into this world, was delivered out with no reprieve.

I tried to locate a tear somewhere, there must be at least one, I thought.  But it never came.  She died alone, as she had lived, driving all life away from her with her narcissist focus, not even allowing us to provide comfort, to mourn her departure, as she took her final breath.  I had laid my head on the shoulder of my beloved that morning after the call.  Was it a whimper?  A soft sigh of relief?  The tears never came – ever.  Unlike the avalanche that came the night after my father had died.  He and I had made amends in the hours before his death, without words or actions, but with an undistinguishable acceptance in our gaze as I squeezed drops of water into his mouth from a damp washcloth.  The tears had come that night as if I had never cried before.  The damn broke, releasing a torrent of rage, hate, love, relief, scorn, and pity; for him for all of the resentment he had for us all in forcing him to live a life he had no hand in designing, for me, an unwilling recipient of his torment, soaked in alcohol and cigarettes. 

But there were none for the creator of the illusion we all lived.  She sat there, propped up, as we had left her the night before, her breath labored from years of disease, an illness she had fought tooth and nail against, rallying time and time again from its eventual fatality.  How she had wanted to live!  An entire existence of wanting to live by her own design, yet succumbing at an age once labeled old maid, fighting against motherhood, suburbia and apple pie.  Even as her lungs hardened and calcified, coming back from a CO2 narcosis to shock us once again into the realization that she was not going quietly, she hung on, to the shreds of her wasted life, hung on, to the pernicious viscera of her indignant existence, determined to ruin anything in her path that reminded her of the dreams she had relinquished long ago. 

To feel sorry would let her scorn go unforgiven – yet – it was that self righteous vanity that molded the mother in me, who loves her children, who applauds the foibles and flaws in others, sees them as intricate networks of genetic data, gifts from ancestors, good and bad, teasing out the desirable from unsavory characteristics, to pass down, in word and progeny.  For that hard won victory over a long, drawn out battle, I had to honor her fight and extol her defeat. 

We sat there at her bedside, conversing for two hours over a corpse, as if it were normal.  And she sat there, vacant, not there.  Life began in her wake, because she was never there, in her life or mine.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Considerations at 3am

I love you, she called out in the dark, in a half whisper – a hiccup, Tourette-like;
to herself perhaps, to comfort the instability she sits in daily.
It speaks out nightly, at that all familiar 3am hour, bewitched as it so seems, when all spirits unite
and her line to God is direct, free of static.

Those words didn’t fall from grace.  A prayer, perhaps, to no one in particular
or across the big pond to her children – she feels the connections – the threadbare cord that still binds
the permanence of love.  She so boldly assumes; no –
feels, as it stretches across the miles that separate.

So much has changed.  To grasp it at this unencumbered hour, hold it with love as it moves through,
like a transient visitor, one who leaves profound change within the turbulence
while traversing through the muck that has been kicked up in the process;
pondering this is futile at this hour.

I love you, she speaks at quiet moments, faintly audible, a soft hymn that coats the disruption,
smooths the ride, softens the jagged edges that ripped through her heart as she shared a Meritage, chosen just for her palette, as she sat at the bar.  She always lets him choose it.  She let go of the banal,
put forth no effort, allowing the red to coat her tongue and linger.

I love you, she says to that which holds no place worth considering.  Holding on is impracticle.
The wine carries the pointlessness she feels in palatable gulps; she savors the last sips as the triviality slips away.   I love you, she must say to the empty vessel, avoiding the temptation to ruminate,
sitting in the expanse as it spreads through her, this liquid, warm and shapeless.

I love you, she welcomes no one, no thing in particular, without question or expectation.
Filled.  Because that is all she can do.