Fast horse.

I don’t have internets in my new studio yet, but I’m hopping on for a minute when I get a chance. And today is a tidal swell of a day.

This morning I had my first real dream in my new place. It coincided with having worked on Stereopsis (what we’re calling the big fiction piece) for the first time since winter. It also is my last entry in the journal I made the night before flying home to see Mom for the last time. It was an incredibly strong, physical dream.

I dreamed of Mom – we sit talking, as if facing each other Indian style on a white bed. She knows we’re saying goodbye (something we never did, at the time). She tells me about City of Hope (where she underwent the experimental bone marrow transplant while divorcing my dad). She says, “Here are my keys from the City of Hope.” They sit in my palm in a neat stack of ringed short keys, a dark steely color, each end a shiny heart-red triangle. She says “When I go home,” she wants me to see the doctors, though not literally to go lok them up — she tells me about them, a doctor whose name I don’t recognize (in later dreams there is one I recognize, maybe Oros or Ores, from his name on the spine of his blue books). The nurse I do recognize and remember, but she says I can’t just go in there because the nurse won’t just say “Oh, Susan L Humphrey, right,” and Mom does her accent charmingly. About the nurse she says, approvingly, “she doesn’t care about her urinal, or her ______, but you gotta have a clean butt,” which the nurse saw to, as if this had been key to her survival. Mom tells me big numbers, how many people are in the program’s care, and how many are surviving, and she is matter-of-fact and humble and proud all at once. Gramma’s there fluttering around us but this moment is for me and Mom and Gramma falls up/away in her dark blue dress.

Mom says, as we sit facing each other, “I have a feeling there’s no problem that can’t be solved, when I get to heaven.” I begin to cry, and say how much I agree. I say, “but I’m goign to miss you.” She begins to cry, or comfort me, and she says “I’ll miss you too,” or “I’ll need you too,” then “What I’ll miss/need the most is your writing. So don’t write sparingly.” I want to tell her how what I’ll miss most is her beauty. She’s so Mom, so self-assured and direct and radiant and funny. But I’m crying, and have woken up crying, perfectly easy, as if the dream has welled at my eyes and spilled into waking.

So as I make my way through today — buying dish soap, wrastling paperwork, casting for images and assembling my new empty journal — I came to her writings for the first time since moving home. I just picked cautiously through a few files — but here is a piece of a piece I found:

Momma says:

“So what is so hard? To tell the truth and see it without any slant to soften its blinding, searing clarity, that’s what.

To know that I cannot go back to before and choose differently isn’t news, I’ve already admitted what I know now that I did not know then, and even explain with some wisdom and insight why I made the choices I did. I know that I will never have to make again. I know the lessons I’ve learned.

That isn’t the kind of truth I’m talking about here.

So what’s new? To know this is endgame. To know at once too much of this new reality of just where I am in my life and in the course of cancer. What’s hard is not to feel trapped, not to feel a sense of failure, not to feel regret, not to give in to the dead weight of weariness.

What’s hard is to fear not and instead to give thanks and to voice my gratitude for where I am and what I have, to forgive, to be kind and gentle with others and myself, to focus each day on what I wish to create.

Yes, there’s the rub—when I feel as if the lid of this life is closing toward me to force myself to choose in the moment what I wish to create today. Am I brave enough to choose creativity?”

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~ by Arrrow Marie on June 11, 2009.

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