Monday, June 09, 2008

The Maternal Makers

To the maternal lineage, to my mothers close and far, here and gone.

A long line of women who lived difficult and uncertain lives. Each generation carved and altered the tortuous river down which I came crying for breast milk and the sea. And from that day I began to flow in my own canal of sweet, terrifying water. But where did this river begin? It is only stories that have the power to paddle upstream and retrace the riptides, the places of bliss and tragedy. And the stories are few. It is as if there once existed a strong, unyielding eddy that pulled the past concentrically out of existence and into a place where all struggle ceased, where hopes and fears were returned to the darkness from whence they came. A long line of women who lived difficult and uncertain lives.

I know so little of them; here and there only partial tales of either brooding, silent men or men who were never silent enough. One day the fork down which I flow will finally reach the sea and I will be welcomed into the oceanic afterlife by my matriarchal makers. We will drink tea at the bottom of the sea and I will humbly ask for their stories. I will ask to view the artifacts absconded from the brief and incandescent space between the womb and the grave. And I will ask their condolences as I grieve for all that I left behind, all that I gave, which was never enough. And there I fear I may learn that pain does not end with death, that a life is to be celebrated but also reconciled.

But for now I am still on the side of the living. So I use my dreams to send my belated love downstream ahead of my arrival. I do this so they know they are not forgotten but more selfishly so that I am not forgotten. Scrawled upon these love notes from the abyss I send my inquiries, my pain, my repentance and my gratitude. I tell them everything that I hope is true, and everything that I fear is true, and of everything that I am trying to make sense of in this life. This is what I say to my mother and her mother and the many mothers down the line:

My hope is that though you may have suffered derision of spirit, that you may also have found wings in your life, something that allowed you to rise up, look down and see the smallness of all that shamed you. My hope is that you knew that your body was my temple, that while you cared for it and took solace in it I did as well, growing and becoming whilst the forces of oppression encircled your shrine with their phallic threats.

There are some things of which I am certain, however few they may be. I am certain that however you survived, you did so, in part, on my behalf. This is a debt I cannot repay and I should hope that in your world there are no balance sheets, no accounting of what is owed and what is received. I put my faith in the existence of a deeper currency, one in which worth is naked and apparent, its value innate. My hope is that you knew men, or women, who loved you gently and courageously, that you can somehow, through the wall of oblivion, teach me their ways before it is too late, before I die with an angry and unresolved heart. I know this is a lot to ask of you, but it is through this adulterated heart of mine that the women I have loved now have so much in common with your own suffering. My hope is that I will be forgiven for the times I sided with fear and invoked the dark father, taking sanctuary in the fallacy of arrogance.
If I am lucky, my river will be long and slow, determined to fully taste the rich earth it cuts and claims. If I am lucky, you who await my return, and you whose return was awaited by the mother of everything, will recognize something eternal of yourself within the life that I have led. If I am lucky, I will carry down this river the light you gave, a light unexstinguished by relentless sorrow.

1 Comments:

Blogger Shadows of life said...

Cjb,

Its beautiful no doubt, but why do I feel as if it has a lot more under the words? Why am I listening to sub text? Is it me or is it randomness of emotions hidden inside?

Keep writing!
V

January 29, 2009 10:55 AM  

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