20 November 2012

Things Change

Every now and then, I feel a bond of kinship with my mother with an intensity that is momentarily shocking. I recover from the surprise highly "awake" conscousness and "buzz of Life" feeling in my body, like my cells are champagne bubbles.

I haven't detected a rhythm or cycle to these bursts of expanded consciousness.

The experience is beyond words; but, of course, we are by nature inclined to seek words, to capture our experience by thinking about it, writing about it, singing about it.

Serene. Forgiven. At peace. Forgiving.

Except for two occasions -- a nuclear family reunion at Lake Tahoe marked by volatile, vocal conflict and the two-day combined family and friends gathering on the occasion of my son's wedding, during which we exchanged no more than 100 words -- my mother and I were hermetically estranged from each other for the last 20 years of her life. The separation was not emotionally painful most of the time but I carried the wound of it in the background of daily life.

I wrote bad poetry -- "I do not love you, my mother" -- and tearfully, relentlessly, retold the stories of our conflict and my wounds to a series of therapists for a few years. This gradually resolved into an acceptance of things as they were and getting on with my life. 

Increasingly, as the aging process sculpts my body and Time delivers me to the places and lessons it must, I have noticed both physical and personality similarities between us.Some of the similarities are very funny to me. Others are embarrassing.


These instances of new sight, of seeing something I could not see before or seeing something I've never seen before, are miraculous. How does the invisible become visible? How does what seems solid and incontrovertible disappear?