My mother was not sentimental.
She saw the world in a very pragmatic way. If you were not feeling happy, well… just cheer up.
If you were feeling ill… well, wait awhile. Things were bound to change.
The Meaning of Auld Lang Syne
I wished I’d asked my mom more questions about her own level of self-awareness. Did she think about the meaning of life? Did she notice how weird it was that I progressed through my life (and my sisters too) that we wasted so much time learning over again things she had already learned, and which had been learned before her, by her own mother?
Did she wonder about her own place in the universe?
It didn’t seem to me that my mom would waste much time on thoughts like that… but I never asked her.
Should old acquaintance be forgot
It’s time to let go of another year. I am more aware every year how the world is a cycle: that people are born and people are growing old, and dying. And all along that continuum, all of those people are experiencing their own “uniqueness” — life in flashes, as some kind of new miracle. Like lightning illuminating the way forward.
Except. Another year goes by and, if you let yourself look (out of the corner of your eye is best), you can notice that — sure enough– all the moments of “uniqueness” are just recycled again and again in each living person. The source of the joy or sorrow is the same: it’s these particular and unformed individuals who keep renewing the auld lang syne.
I can’t believe I won’t be able to talk to my mom again.
No one in the whole wide world could speak with me the way she did — with perfect succinct candor and love.
I also can’t believe how mundane the passing of time is. I remember myself, years ago, so broken by love that it seemed that all of my insides had been completely dismantled. Love that ripped at me and made me miserable and made me feel alive.
Now, I can look at that same love and see something warm and smooth, sanded by time. Same people, beyond the flash.
I admit that I do not want to lose this feeling of loss for my mom.
Because losing the feeling means leaving her behind.
It means, dismally (and like my mom always says): life and I go on.
“The first acute agony cannot last, but the sufferer dreads what will replace it. … Recovery can seem like a betrayal. Passionately, you desire a way back to the lost object, but the only possible road, the road to life, leads away.”— Hilary Mantel
Happy New Year. I’ll always remember you, 2014.