Journey to Your Deepest Self

A Haunting

During those years my children were at school, I was like a ghost haunting the other parents, teachers and staff. Barely visible, gauzy, unnerving. Only the children could see me clearly and hear me – and the visiting grandmothers. I walked in the shadows of the drama mamas, dressed up to drop off their children. Dressed like rebels, dressed like liberals. To me they were the pawns of the government who allow them to feel like rebels by keeping pot marginal. “Don’t make trouble”. They scold the homely questioner. Their voices scrape in their throats. Expensive gypsies. I am a ghost to them, transparent and unreal. They might think they glimpse me but my presence has faded already into a small story, a ghost story of a mother who used to haunt this school. And when I open my eyes my son is sitting next to me and asking what the tooth fairy does with all the teeth. I picture his teeth in my jewelery box, tucked into pillowed satin pouches. I don’t know why. I don’t have a plan for them. I only know I want to keep them. My child’s...

Peaches

It’s later, now. After the peaches and the pie crust and after Dad said he has lymph cancer. It’s after spending 3 hours today blanching, peeling, slicing and spicing peaches I bought on Tuesday and placed in the brown paper bag, on the Mexican tile floor. Beneath the side board they rested into themselves for four days. Until their scent dripped thickly from the air and sweetened us with sunset vapors. It’s after your wine glass shattered, scattering broken glass like tiny seeds all over the kitchen. I couldn’t be sure that no glass hadn’t gone into the bowl with the peaches. Because you couldn’t bear to feel how sad you felt, you turned on anger instead. “Why were the peaches there?”, you pushed. “You didn’t leave me any room in the kitchen to work”, you tried. And for once, I stayed quiet. I could feel how very sorry you were. And I was angry too. For another reason. Sure the peaches. Sure my hard work. Sure. More, that those peaches were for for my dad’s birthday. My dad who has cancer now. “It could be his last”, I’d heard myself say. I had thought I’d accepted that my dad and me – we’d never accepted each other. We’d accepted disappointment. That we’d spent our relationship trying to change each other. That he is dying just when I figured out I could stop trying and I had. He was okay with me. And it no longer mattered, finally, if I was okay with him. I hadn’t realized that I was still trying to win him over, win his approval with a peach pie- until the peaches were lost. Ah! but what peaches they were! It’s so hard to let go of The peaches. To let them go. I had sliced myself into the bowl with the peaches. So ripe, sweet. And ready to become something more than I thought I was. Ready to nourish. Offering myself in celebration and in mourning of  daughter and Dad. It’s me now. Lying over a pile of garbage in the garbage can. Wasted, thrown away. I just can’t let them go that easily. I am clinging like the last peach of the summer on the highest branch. Preferring to wrinkle and dry up in the sun’s heat rather than be picked and...

Hole Self

Out on the edge of things- edge of comfort, politeness, legality, acceptability, of “what we do”, there aren’t a lot of arms holding you. There aren’t a lot of voices reassuring you. Because you’re somewhere no one’s ever been. You don’t know. And you know you don’t know. You are leaning, balancing over the edge toes tingling, gripping. Hoping to feel some security about the place that’s here. The world is burning behind you. You will surely burn with it, if you go back. But it might be a slow burn, smoldering and singeing. Jumping will be a death too. You will be changed. Your children will be changed. It’s time to jump, or burn. The swirling clench deep in the belly wants to scream the walls down. Help me! Wants to panic and sob with wild abandon. And throw things across rooms with brick walls- smashing, breaking, crashing, deafening, blinding, gasping. This is too hard, maybe it’s a mistake, go back, fall back, fall apart, I can’t do it. Take it away from me. I don’t know how. You become the gaping, yawning hole opening over the edge. How can you hold a hole? How can a hole fall into...

The Box

Looking inside my basement I find dirt, cobwebs, spiders, dampness, old things. Canning jars full of unidentifiable preserves on shelves to my right. A bare bulb lights up the washer and dryer and I smell laundry soap and mildew. The air on my skin feels icy-sharp, cutting. An old rug is rolled up beneath the shelves and boxes are stacked at the back. One of the top boxes has been opened and newspaper is caught mid-slither reaching for the floor. A high window above the laundry area shows ground level behind some camellias. I hear voices, just the music of voices without the lyrics, outside the window there. Humming. The camellias are in bloom. It is February. It’s just rained and I long to pack myself away in that open box and listen to things forevermore. I’ll smile to myself in my box and sometimes cry. Or tremble with fear for the girl being scolded by her father. I’ll see the dogs jogging up to the camellias and I’ll see them piss all over the window. I’ll sleep. It’ll be fine....

Loneliness

The wind is wildly throwing itself through the trees, and the streets. And the trees, they are bending and twisting. Peyote dancers feeling into the world beneath the world. The sound is like the ocean slamming itself against the steady shore. Then the wind seems to inhale. Silence. Just like when the water goes from noisy simmer to boil. For a moment it’s quiet. Then the papers fly off the tables and the cat hides under the bed. I can see the gold finches clinging tenaciously to the feeder. My legs stretch out. And I wonder who knows I’m...
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