i pulled a muscle beneath my arm yesterday somehow - probably in act the slinging of the contractor bags down the attic steps. the satisfaction of a job if not perfectly done at least well-begun seems worth the discomfort, but unfortunately the pain affects the side on which i like to sleep. so here i am, nursing my muscle with st joan's wort oil, courtesy of rose, aspirin, and warm milk. and blogging, of course...the great White Board on which my furious fingers can roam-at-will.
the Queen is back in her Castle and my house is several pounds of dust and dog hair lighter and feels decidely less hovel-ish than it did before Her Majesty's arrival. it has been a long time since i spent such a length of concentrated time in my mother's company. i realized that if i am a mystery to my mother, she is equally a mystery to me. she sees me as her Alien Child - i see her as a Force of Nature, my personal incarnation of Kali-Ma. the Great Mother is alive and well in her and at her best she is as nourishing as a celtic cauldron, as flowing with milk and honey and all good things as any Promised Land. but woe betide anyone who gets in her way: she is, after all, as Beloved always puts it in tones tinged with awe, a woman who made a man give up God.
this trip, she fed me stories about my great-grandparents, disjointed bits of memories like tidbits on a tray.
she told me the reason my great-grandfather broke with his brother, leon - who was actually his half-brother - the one who changed his last name. pop was the oldest of four, my mother said. like me, i thought. uncle leon was a bootlegger and pop found out where he hid his stash on the beach. and when uncle leon went down one night to get it, pop was there waiting for him.
the conversation that followed as related by my mother seems entirely too tame to warrant the actions that ensued as a result, though when i probed her, she stuck by her version of events. considering this all happened before she was born, i can see how she would've been told a watered down version of the Real Thing, that over the years has become ingrained as gospel.
then yesterday my mother mentioned, quite in passing, a story about my aunt katherine, who, when asked about her bad memories of the depression, replied: i don't have any bad memories - we didn't suffer.
the novelist in me looked at my mother and wondered if she could miss the tenuous connection my mind automatically makes between the two.
and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.