Some days I think about my mother. I think about what she was like at this age, what she did on a daily basis, what she thought about herself, what she thought about her art, and if she saw in herself what others did. Did she get lost in her flaws, and self obsess and pity her downfalls, and if she did….were there also days that she allowed herself to be full of light or tenderness? My partner asked me a while ago if I had any good memories of my mother. We were biking somewhere, but I feel like I heard the silence of the wheel rotating again and again over itself before I could find any words to let out. Surely I had good memories with my mother. Surely she was not this dark memory that I had thought up. After all she carried through with her pregnancy, and held me in her stomach for nine months. And no matter the mistakes and decisions she made during that time……she gave me life. She gave me creation. I sometimes forget the immensity of that gift. No matter what she may have done to me, or not done for me ….she is the singular reason that I get to live and breathe today. So that is a pretty fucking beautiful memory.
I do remember a particular time when I was living with my grandparents, and my mother showed up with several bags of clothing. She took me into my room, and pulled out all of these clothes that any little girl would get enthusiastic about. I received my favorite pair of Little Mermaid tights that morning, with a matching Arial t-shirt. I would go on to wear those tights into my teens and I would only get rid of them when they became so tight that I begun to get the most heinous of wedgies. She had bought a disposable camera with her that day, and she took a couple of photos of me in every single outfit. She seemed so happy that day dressing me up, and taking my photos. Although she didn’t stay long she would go on to develop those photos, and add them to my grandparents photo album of me. I still have that album. But for some reason when I look at those photos I feel so disconnected from her. I hate that I question her intentions, but I feel like on that certain day her own unhappiness and guilt for not being a role model and mother to me pushed her to show up with gifts to win my adoration. I feel like the photos were a marking from her to prove that she was present in my life, and that she was a part of me. When I look at those photos I feel like she created a false happiness that day, but still I was happy. I loved seeing her, and I loved being seen by her. That day I felt like a princess, and I felt adored by my mother. So, yes….I guess that was a happy moment.
Maybe had I been more than a child then I could have told her that everything could have changed from that moment, and that she didn’t need to leave. But that’s the reality of it. I was a child, and I had nothing to offer her in the internal wisdom department at that time. It was up to her as the adult to fulfill that emptiness for herself, but she couldn’t and she did not. And I think I am beginning to understand why.
It’s a wild ride, this human life. We learn things much too late, and we know much too little when we have all the time in the world. She and I were on opposite spectrums of time. But I do know one thing….she loved to write poetry, and she loved to fill a blank page with words. So even though me may not have had a lot of pretty moments together…..she would be proud to know that words filtered through her, and fell into me.
I spent my whole life running away from who I thought she was, only to find out that a large piece of me was everything that I was looking for. I am, most definitely…. my poor tortured mother’s daughter. And I will spend my life self obsessing, and analyzing just what that means, but I do hope that I find answers in a more healthy way than my poor mother did …..and I do hope that I find them sooner than later.