Saturday, March 29, 2008

back to the mother

i'm going down to see my mother today. i am not especially looking forward to the trip - it feels obligatory. and yet, i do relish the thought of those three or four hours today and tomorrow alone in the car.

i like to drive long distances. there's a stephen king short story about a woman who's always looking for the shortest way to get anywhere and ends up finding a Way into Somewhere Else. at the end of the story, she drives off into Somewhere Else with her handyman and i have to say i always thought she was not only obviously a very good driver but a highly practical woman.

my mother is a highly practical woman, the embodiment of the queen of the swords of the tarot. encased in a queen of pentacles body, she is the epitome of a woman who makes decisions with authority if not compassion. as much as i admire her ability, and understand that she is restricted by her culture as much as any of us, i still shudder at the sacrifice.

i read an article this morning by jamaica kincaid about her mother. her mother died three years after ms kincaid stopped speaking her, wrote her mother, in essence, out of her life. wow, i thought, that's what i wanted my mother to do to my grandmother. and in ms kincaid's honesty, i read something of the cost. and for the first time in my entire life this morning, i understood, by just a glimmer, why mother could not do that. it was just a glimpse - a peek of dawn across a mountain, or a sliver of sunlight through storm clouds - there, and just as soon gone.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.

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