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Just MeThe Turtle and Mom

There is a winding driveway in the poshest of neighborhoods - oversized houses and aged trees , iris lined ponds - clover filled lawns - pristine professionally cleaned art studios and sparkling paintings. Another world - I wonder if I will ever know...or want to -

A white shuttle to her Mt. Olympus view breakfast table and Aniko and Ken in their own blissful state as they wed. I have dawned my muslin colored bright embroidered made in India dress for the ocassion and John and the Turtle match me. The turtle buckled into a borrowed carseat and another fellow mother it strikes me we are all so unique - as Mothers - squeezing ourselves past or below or right in between those brackets imposed by angry adult children and Leave It to Beaver and 'happy housewives need not apply'.

The guilt is what strikes me the most. Hidden in my private slice of happy chaos and drip encrusted studios, behind my own Quaking Aspen and blushing tomatoes I and she are perfect in our own strange dance of a relationship I hope that I will not be as much of a little sister as my own Mother had been and more an old wise one - though not too much the crone as Hecate cackles behind me.

Here I am concerned that too much of my breast peeks through and perhaps one too many glasses of wine and I should not be holding her but if my husband is caring too much for her at this present moment have I then become absent?

And my impulse is always to look on the other mothers who smile knowingly in my direction and say emphatically to them that I am not like them - that we are all so unique and it is not a bond that we share only common circumstances as un-important and inconsequential as the matching color of our skin or that we happen to live in the same state.

When I leave her in the morning - smiling up and waving one small hand so easily letting me go - I am always certain to breathe deeply in and memorize the smell of her - just in case - this is the last I have of this kind of perfection and it occurs to me how every moment with her is the last before it shifts into another so much different.

A million small deaths - together - and a million small births one second later.

In my dreams a few days ago I slipped beside my bed and gave birth to a second child - sweetly and painlessly and without drama. It was such a gift of a dream, having been so terrified of it after the tumult of this first and i hadn't realized how this nearly missed appointment with grief had affected my ability to create.

The following morning - I was in a new place with my paintings - a place I am more empassioned by than I have been since before the Turtle shook me upside down until all my pockets were empty.

And I am joyously filling them again - with softer and more nutritional things. And for the first, I do not begrudge the healthfulness of it.

My athena is now quieting down - and backing down off the warpath. Who will step in next?

10:00 a.m. - 2007-07-05


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