Saturday, October 01, 2005

Without Intent - We Still

Abandon Those We Love
thanks Deena and Imani

They don’t own me,
much as we’ve both paid,

the tally never balances.
Scales overflowing


but always short of that
demarcation hatch proclaiming

even. In this time,
of sushi hearts

we still find
nothing more
to say than i love you

and I’m off. Postcard
perfect, snap

shots reducing
one billion emotions

like salt trying
to remain an individual
in the context of ocean.

NOTE: Friends have offered to help offset the expense of flying home to be with Imani. I've been trying to work this through - so much of me feels as if I can't accept this generous offer. Feeling as if I am some sort of charity case. I'm teaching. Norman is working. We should be just fabulous. But - tight. Tighter and tighter it seems to be. I'm always the one raising money for someone else. And when it comes to it - I have a knack for pulling money out of thin air. I've always excelled in this. So - I believe I resist this love energy being put forth on my behalf in order to maintain some convuluted idea of self.

Teaching creative writing again has invited me to review my source material. And once past fairy tales, science fiction, evil teachers, and my nasty nanny, I am left pondering...

“Who are these people who have lead to my poems? In response, I finger the biographies of my grandmother. “MAIDA SPRINGER: Pan-Africanist and International Labor Leader” by Yevette Richards, University Of Pittsburgh Press and “CONVERSATIONS WITH MAIDA SPRINGER:A Personal History of Labor, Race, and International Relations” also byYevette Richards from University of Pittsburgh Press.

But, looking for myself, I suddenly realise how we all donned gloves to handle our lives together. We were so busy containing ourselves to be perfect threads on “the loom of history” we forgot.

My brother and I are in neither of those books. We did not play the family drum well enough to be included. We exist for those who have long enough memories to include us. My career as an artist made it harder to write me out. But, they manage. She spoke about this once, tired, frail and tubes slipping in and out of her body. "Your Mother is such a private person. I have always tried my best to respect that." Her hand sstroking the book about her life she was about to hand to me.

Now, my daughter is across the Atlantic ocean. She is pulling her life together after having a stroke. And we are here. Stuck. Separated. Mired in our belief that the Universe had a plan for us.

Where is my family? Most carefully and conscientiously executing their retirement dreams now that my Grandmother has had the good taste to finally die. (This being my mother’s perception of the way Maida took forever before letting her be a true and unencumbered snowbird. You have to understand. My mother’s mother had the good form to go quickly and suddenly. She held her secrets in her blood until she exploded. Quite suddenly and unexpectedly.). Not Dad’s Mum, she stayed and made us laugh and attend book parties, change her diapers and showed us the dignity of the flawed and failing human body.

Inconvienece is a legacy also. Maida would rather dehydrate than get a nurse (who was on her hard won break) to bring her ice chips-----days before she died. On one side of the family, inconvienceing others can not be tolerated. And on the other side, as well.

So, I find myself stiffening my collar and saying, “No, thank you, we’ll work it out.” When I mean, “Mama? Mama? Are you there? Where are you? Help me, please? I know you are tired. I’ve needed so much, but, do you have it in you to hold me? It is so dark here!”

So - maybe - yes - we need help becoming more than this self-sacrificing legacy of women worthy of books written in our name.

1 comment:

clear_blue_skies said...

Keep being your own shining star. People might cry to edit history to make it personally comfortable but the truth will out