Tuesday, September 06, 2016

A Liminal Moment


Yesterday (September 5) was exactly 6 months since Mom passed. After Saturday's events, however, I must say that I have felt much more peace about things. 

Yesterday, Dad, a friend of his, and I went  to some area orchards to buy apples. It was an enjoyable trip into the mountains for the afternoon. I kept my earphones in most of the time, to keep my ears open to stop the possibility of motion sickness or another migraine attack. But it also cut out some of the chatter. I don't mind conversation but I don't always need to be involved. Another area where Mom and I differed. She loved chatting; I endure it unless it's with a small group of trusted people in my life.

Anyway, we got back and I had to run a quick errand before dinner. When I pulled the car back in, it happened.

A butterfly landed on my car. 

I had to stop. I knew in my marrow that this was an important moment. I heard Fr. Sandy's voice saying something about a liminal moment. He'd use that phrase sometimes in his homilies and I had a pretty good idea of its meaning. But I reminded myself to look up the word, just in case I was on the wrong track.

I watched the butterfly move its wings as if it were stretching. I mean, one of those awesome, full upper-body stretches out through the arms and through the chest and everything feels opened up. It was as if the wings themselves were fluttering from the stretch. I sat there, afraid to even open the car door because I knew this was important.

But I had to go in. As soon as I got out and closed the door, the butterfly flew away. I said aloud, "oh no, come back!" But it had gone.

I smiled. Time for it to fly. No cages. No restraints. I kept smiling. I got inside, put down my gear, and looked up "liminal." The definition above is exactly what popped up.

A moment at a threshold. I don't know that any other word would have fit so perfectly. I'm forging a brave new world for myself. Mistress of my own high seas and navigator of my own soul's depths. Wings ready to soar to new adventures greater than I ever guessed.

Because of one who gave me roots and wings.


Saturday, September 03, 2016

Birdcage Wisdom

I was dreaming. 

Odd that I actually recalled what I was dreaming about.... I rarely do. Not in ages have I recalled more than a snippet of a dream, if anything at all. But yes, I was remembering the dream.

It was a vocal audition. I had to do three songs: one of the judges' panel choosing, one that was more traditional of my choice, and then a more modern piece. I don't remember the judges' choice, I think Paula or Mary helped me choose a more traditional piece but I DEFINITELY remember my modern selection. I began to sing it and had gotten part of the way through it.

And then I heard the clock chime quarter till..... My eyes flew open and I had to get up to see exactly quarter till when. I saw the time and that was that. I was up. I then knew why I had chosen my modern piece and awakened when I did.

It was 5:45 am. The song was "Release" by Pearl Jam. I had been awakened in time to sit vigil today that I didn't get to do 26 weeks ago. 

I went out to the back room/man cave-ish area, sitting on the steps and silently weeping. Trying to sing the lyrics and feeling tears absolutely dripping off my face. I waited in the dark for her to speak to me.....

And she did. I did not expect to feel what I thought she was saying to me. I thought I had to be mistaken. 

Let me go, Annette.

Let you go? LET YOU GO? The hell? Mama, I appear to be the only one who gives a single solitary damn about you and your memory right now. Me, your daughter. The one with whom you battled and fought, the one who proved to be a pretty damn worthy adversary. ME. The one who hasn't just seemingly decided that well, six months is fine. Dammitall Mama, how can you say that to me? I don't get it.....

So later on, befuddled and bewildered, I got in the shower to get ready for my day of errands. I don't know why but the shower seems to be my conduit to the cosmos. I get amazing ideas and insights there that I can't get other places. I'd put on a different playlist this morning and on came "Black Days III" (aka "Fell On Black Days (Demo)") from the Echo of Miles box set.

It's a very different setting of a familiar song. So as I'm doing a little head-banging and body cleaning, my favorite lyric from the well-known version came into my mind: 


Lyrics which mean so much to me in an entirely different manner suddenly gave me the perspective I needed for mama's message to me this morning. When she was leaving this life, all I wanted for her was to soar higher and farther than she ever could as an earthbound. And she's been giving me wings my whole life -- including since her passing.

It is time for me to return the favor. I am giving Mama her wings too. I am freeing her from a life caught between my need to remember and keep her close -- and my desire to have her soar.

Earlier this week, I'd gotten a tweet response that read (in part): "The world is not the same without the one who loves you unconditionally." Indeed. My world is not the same. It goes on as ever, but differently. And so must I, figuring it out as I go along somehow -- never forgetting my mother but not keeping her hostage to my own grief.