Monday, April 4, 2011

Now What?

I realize that in a way, my world has cracked and must now be reformed. Even if I never have another conversation with my mother in my life like the one we had last night, things are different. Mainly, I was told that I am not a liar, not insane, either.

And I'm not sure how I feel.

I feel as if this is going to take some time to integrate. I feel that this is not a movie where now all is different and everything's in color whereas before it was all in black-and-white. That flowers are blooming and birds are singing and my mother and I are going to start hanging out together every chance we get, chittering and twittering like friendly birds.
I don't feel that way at all.
I wish.
I don't even feel validated, truthfully. I feel...confused.

It is making me tired.

Lily called me this morning and asked if maybe I could come and get Owen for awhile because she's really sick and he was bored and wanted to play outside and she just didn't feel like it. I sensed salvation there and drove to town to get him.

"I feel bad," Lily said. "You never had anyone to watch your babies when you were sick."
"What does that have to do with anything?" I asked her, swinging that boy up on my hip, feeling the solid weight of him on my hip where so many babies have carved out a place of comfort and I was grateful for it.

When we drove away, Owen said, "Mama?"
"Mama's not feeling well," I told him. "She needs a nap."
"Boo-boo?" he asked me.
"Yes. She has a boo-boo."

On the way home we talked about all the things we would be doing. Feeding the mule, feeding the goats. Feeding the chickens. "Boo?" he asked. And I assured him we would kick bamboo. He showed me his shoes because he knows he needs his shoes to cook the bamboo.

We did all those things. We found an egg in the fern. And when we went to look for eggs in the hen house, we found an oak snake which was surprisingly large. I'd almost say "huge."
When we checked back later, the snake had disappeared. Along with TWO eggs. I'm telling you- it was a big snake.

"Nake!" Owen kept saying later on. It was quite a topic of conversation.

And now his daddy's come and gotten him and the weather is changing, rain is coming, being blown in by a windy escort. The air is getting wetter by the moment and I can feel it coming. There is a heaviness.
This is not unlike my internal weather at the moment.
I am hoping that the way I feel does not portend an inner storm.
Really, I'd just as soon not.

Here's another thing I told Owen today on our drive:

Grandmother has a boo-boo in her heart. Your kisses make them better. Did you know that?

Uh-huh! he said.

He has no idea what I was talking about but I told him the truth. Which I will always try to do.

Time to clean up and finish laundry and try to keep myself out of bed which is where I want to go to let all of this settle without me being consciously involved. To wait out this wind and humidity, to let come what will come.
Maybe a storm, maybe just a gentle, cleansing, lovely rain.


Boo-boo in my heart. Kisses make it better. Snakes come and snakes go. The blackbird whistles, the backdoor creaks in the wind, letting in invisible guests, the new leaves toss and test their newly-made hold on the branches.

I know just how they feel.


  1. I love hearing about you and Owen. It does something sweet to me. Thank you:)

  2. I don't think the revelations are often like lightening bolts. I think it would be dangerous to try and look for a cure all in the conversation you had with your mother.

    If it does stick, though, it makes sense that the change will feel weird, and not altogether comfortable. I mean, you've lived with one version of the way things are for a very long time.

    I know you've never done the osteopathy thing, but sometimes after you've had a bone worked back into the right place, and everything is lining up right again, it really motherfucking hurts for a while, in that place where the bone had been pressing into the soft tissue. It had been pressing, and it had ached, but you were used to it, and the stoop you might have accomodated it with. Standing up straight again is really uncomfortable, hard to adjust to.

    Now Owen's talking, a whole new world of blogging is opening up! :)

  3. What is given from your mother to you was one phone call where she let go. You may want more but wisely understand that indeed may be all you will hear for now.

    Your love with your children and your grandson is honest, open and real in every way that it wasn't with your mom. Take that as what is and will always be the most important. You have a wonderful husband who clearly loves you above all else..oh so many don't have that.. or any of what you have!

    Tender, timid steps be taken on your heart Mary..time will reveal what is to be.

  4. I believe Owen will show you the way out of this emotional stew. You may find yourself on shifting ground for a while, as your world view is now seen from somewhere else. Change is hard, even good change. But at least you have in your pocket from here to forever your Mother's acknowledgement that you are not a liar, you are not crazy, and what happened to you happened to you. You deserve at least that much. I have no clue how to keep the past in the past, or let go easily, except to keep letting that little man and that big man and your wonderful kids heal your heart's boo-boos!

  5. I know the exact kind of tired you mean. Love to you.

  6. Lovely, lovely closing paragraph, m"Dear. Vraie po├ęsie.

    Change is not easy. Especially when it is a major shift like what you experiencing with your mother. A core chunk of what you have known about yourself in the world is different. Be kind to yourself.

    Nake. =o). That O-boy is balm for the heart, indeed.
    x0 N2

  7. He is a blessed little boy, your Owen.

    I feel like i know what you mean about being confused. all these years you had that wall of wrong to push against, and if it crumbles, what will be your countervailing support? maybe the answer is you don't have to fight this fight anymore. You can just take to your bed for a while and cry for the little girl you were, who lives in you still. She is a survivor, the one. She has steel in her back and she can survive the boo boo in your heart. You don't have to be afraid of it.

    Especially with little boys like Owen in your life. And all the rest of us who love you, who are right here, enfolding you.

  8. I'm not sure, but it might be a bit like how I feel now as Sophie is improved -- while I'm "thankful," I'm sort of wasted, too. Or numb, a bit. I think it has to do with how we see ourselves, how we've carved out these identities and how we create our stories. I think.

    But I love you -- and your day with Owen is pure and simple and true.

  9. You are held in love and wisdom in these responses. What a beautiful place you have created.

    Yes, this is "big" movement in the mental and spiritual plane: what was known, is not.

    And the comfort is in the grandchild, the tending, the nurturing all of which will lead you to the discovery.

    You are a wise and wonder-filled woman.

  10. They are the healing ones...Our children, our nieces and nephews, our grandbabies. Our mothers and the others, those who hurt us and still do, they do what they can yet I know that it really isn't ever enough.

    Like you, I struggle with making my mother into the mother I wish she could be, could have been. But we cannot change them and they do not know how to change themselves. I have mercy for my own and that is why she still has me in her life, but for me, the pain, the betrayal, the sadness runs just as deep.

    Big hugs to someone else who sounds as if she knows what being a "motherless daughter" is like.

    Let the storm cleanse your soul, dear heart.

  11. Jill- It does something sweet to me, too.

    Jo- You are exactly right about the post-adjustment pain. Things have been rearranged and there is going to be a different sort of pain. You're right.

    Ellen- I agree. And as I said, I told my mother that despite a very awful childhood, I have managed somehow to have an amazing life. Which is true. And I know that.

    Mel- I think you're right.

    Maggie May- I know you do.

    N2- Thank you. You are wise.

    DTG- Exactly! I have such memories of you saying the same thing! About worms. Or were they caterpillars? And you know what? When I walked into the hen house and saw that monster, I involuntarily screamed and rushed out and then I thought, OH NO! I've given Owen a complex! And we walked back in and studied the snake quietly. And talked about it. And how if he sees a snake, he must run and tell Grandmother or Bop or Mama or Daddy. We shall continue to talk about this.

    Angella- I love you so much I can't even say. Tearfully, I say thank-you. The wall metaphor was completely correct.

    Elizabeth- So many layers to the onions of our lives, aren't there? Yes, I think this may be a little similar.

    Laura- I can't even believe the people who come here and hold me up, who bear my weight, who make me cry with gratefulness. Such wisdom! I am humbled.

  12. Oh Mama... I just caught up on all of this. I'm so glad that you had that conversation, that you got to hear her speak her love for you. I love you so much. My heart is just swollen with you right now.

  13. May- I have been thinking of you SO much, hoping that your time with S. was wonderful. That you could rest your head on his shoulder and know how close he wants to hold you. My heart, in fact, was (is) swollen with you. I love you.

    Christina- Thank-you, new friend. Thank-you.

  14. Worms. I thought they were baby snakes. Hey, makes sense. Sounds to me like you did just fine on not giving him a complex.

  15. I am glad that Owen helped with your confused and "boo booed" heart. Maybe your mother is making her amends in the way that she knows. In side each of us we realize that there are things to be tidied up as we get nearer to our own end of times. I think that our conscience works on us. I can accept such things realizing that others may not be as awakened in spirit as I. Small steps with Owen, small steps in life.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.