A bond is a powerful thing. No matter what our relationship to our mother is like we are tied in ways we can barely conceive, and by that I mean there is an underground force that connects us, the nature of which we can spend our entire lives coming to know.
In illness, and especially in the face of death, the pursuit of meaning and insight takes on epic proportions, and anyone who has been ill for a long time will know exactly what I’m talking about. You live life on a different realm than the healthy do; a sort of subterranean current that opens you in ways you didn’t see coming. Everything changes. Thoughts on destiny inevitably visit in the weight of uncertainty as we inch closer to the cusp between life and death.
As a writer with deeply artistic sensibilities I am drawn to the transformative power of perception; as Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity suggests, the position or stance of an observer will influence the phenomenon being observed. In my illness, I have never been more aware of this, especially when it comes to my mother. Our temperaments couldn’t be more different. We have had to work very hard at understanding one another; at overcoming prejudice and expectation in order to see one another. We rarely get to be together in the flesh. Yet now the indefinable force that binds us is crawling up from the ground it has been buried in, and with each wave we reach. We reach and dig until our fingers bleed. And every now and again we connect.
My beloved meme has been diagnosed with cancer. It is a core shaker. Though I am not concerned she will die soon – she is in many ways healthier than I am, and terribly resilient – life is unpredictable, as is my own current health condition. Things can change in an instant. And so everything has taken on a new immediacy for me. I can no longer take things for granted in the way I used to so easily. My love for her confuses and challenges me, just as her heart stirs me in ways I cannot control. This happens on the phone as we talk, flounder, pause and grasp. Her titanic heart acts on its own accord, penetrating my every defense to touch where I am most vulnerable.
In the face of this, I am putty. I struggle to find ground as a tide of emotion rises in my throat, wanting to burst with something I cannot name, cannot define. Perhaps I will know it in the afterlife. But I can’t help longing for its emergence and my abandon. I ache for it in fact. I ache for a healing of mystical proportions; for the earth I grope and for the wail that will one day find me. My beloved Madre….at the core of it all. How I adore the mountainous spirit within her. We will meet again, of that I am sure.
March 10, 2016