This winter after my mother died was long and bleak, though in “reality” no longer or bleaker than others. I’m returning from that darkness with my first note of 2016 and one last story about my mother.
She left me a gift I dreaded and saw at first as a curse: ninety years worth of newspaper clippings, magazines, letters, notes, photos, worn and never-worn clothes and shoes, tangled costume jewelry, flattened cereal boxes, diaries, half-empty perfume bottles, old red lipsticks, plastic bags and cloth scraps, on and on, waist-deep beneath dust so thick I had to wrap a scarf around my mouth and nose to breathe sorting it. I kept up a running commentary on my disgust, humiliation, and anger even as my mother’s secrets emerged from the layers like the excavation of an archeological dig. I was exhausted and filthy finishing with the worst of it, and hoarse from arguing with her for hours on end.
The gift came when at some point I saw her through her stash, beyond the mother who was never “motherly” enough for me, to the woman who was wholly herself, without apology, a woman of strength I could mourn with love and respect. She held me there despite myself until both of us were freed from my habitual sense of lack and resentment. I carry that lesson with me now, to see others around me with fresh eyes, less judgement. Thank you Mom.
Mom and me 1957
This is where I’ve been for half a year, a healer healing, fragile, confused, blinking now in the welcome spring sun. I’ll post new announcements about my work soon, Qigong, easing the lightbody, and more.
Meanwhile, my radiant, powerful friend Teryl “T” Johansson has a new book out, Silver Talons, Sacred Prey: Stories To Rattle Your Ancient Shamanic Bones. Find illuminating adventures with T at www.sacredaerie.com.