Dying/broken/forgiven.... now I begin

Born: 17-06-56....gemini.... monkey
re-born: 3-09-80
born again\found: 14-04-08
other notable dates: 10-03-68; 03-09-87; 23-03-96;
1-05-98; 31-01-02; 5-04-04

Interests: movement, stressed/transgressive embodiment, lived experience (body\space\time\relation)
expression ( word, dance, text, image, story, music, poetics)
learning, yielding......

Hopes for the blog:
offer up the wild intersectedness of lived experience and engage others in creative, expressive, perhaps irreverant, hopefully playful, and respectful encounters....
enact kindness
create moments of pause for disclosure, discovery, stillness

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I called my mom unexpectedly a few months ago...there was no pressing reason; I usually call on Sundays and I had missed a call, travelling or something. So I called on a Monday evening, around 7:00 pm her time...
you need to know that my mom came late to hearing aids....we yelled at her for a year or so before we realized that all she needed was a nudge in the direction of her grandchildren... and being able to hear their voices. Her singular discovery since then has been how damn loud is that clock in the kitchen. Still, when she can get away with not wearing them, she does. Such was the case when I made my unexpected call....

the phone rings for about a dozen times--this ought to have been a harbinger for me, some kind of anticipatory warning signal, but no, good will is, above all, stupid at times like these...finally, a pick up and a tentative ...dare I day frail ....Hello?
Hello, I quip, all jaunty and lighthearted. Nothing.
Then, frail and tentative again, maybe even a little unnerved: Hello?
Ok, time to volume up....HI MOM HOW ARE YOU ?
then, worse, a puzzled, confused, trailing off ...fine.....that's as much a question as an answer....
than almost immediately: Who is this !!?
worried; scared. Dammit! I know the kind of calls she 's endured.... I have to handle this well, now...
It's me, I shout, then my name
It's me! shouting again, my name...your daughter ...
It's .... I try another name she also calls me by...
she claws her way back, uses the short version of my name...louder but not yelling, hopeful and still, unnerved
...Is that you?
Yes, I say, it's me.
Good God, from my mom...I didn't even recognize your voice. I didn't even know who you were.
It's ok, I start to say, you didn't know, I don't usually call at this time....
she speaks over me...I didn't even know who you were...God, I'm sorry
I'm sorry, I say, almost crying now. I can feel how ashamed she is..
not only for not hearing me, but for not knowing me...
and I realized then how thin are the threads of contextual anchors
how slippery a thing is time
how slippery time makes things
how long that minute was
how hurt we both felt...by each other's disconnect, how ashamed of our smallness,
our inability to move across that sixty seconds...
probably fewer... who cares....

I used to think that I could handle the oft' quoted tales of memory lapses that accompany aging, my own, my spouse, my friends, relatives, my parents...
but I sure as hell didn't handle that one single minute when it felt like my mother had forgotten me.

Mom and I talked the following Sunday at our regular time and we could laugh about that long minute... time being a thief as well.

Still it makes me wonder .... and appreciate you even more than I thought was possible.... your courage, maybe even some of your sorrow.....
I would never forget you, but how would you have known?
you remain my greatest gift....


  1. One of the things that strikes fear in my heart is when I can't remember things I could recall the day or hour or minute before. I have had instances - - only flashes so far - where I look at my daughter or my grandson and cannot rememberher or his name.

    My brain is aging faster than the rest of me. I see it, I hear it, I feel it. I try not to worry about the implications of those nano-seconds of forgetfulness, but they are there, just beneath the surface, like a painful bump I want to scratch but dare not because it hurts.

    A touching, disturbing, thought-provoking post.


  2. Crow--Martha-- thanks for your thoughtful self- disclosure. I like how you brought it to nanoseconds...that's probably where so much happens by way of knowing/not-knowing and the accompanying terror...
    sometimes, my fragility hovers right in front of my face....
    I look forward to visiting you...

  3. Its so simple yet stunning post..there are so much in this post…I’m glad I’ve found you and starts reading your other write-ups…

    There is no greater relation than mother and child…it is greater from the point of view of mother..how much we develop emotions for our mothers, we can’t generate mother’s emotion, that unconditional love….the same mother may not be affectionate to other people or the same mother may not pretend to love her child but it is sure the love is still there…

    I stay outside of my home, in different city, alone and happy..but sometimes I think about my mother and most of the time call her during Sundays only…though I want to get out of attachments but attachments are too strong to break...

  4. Shubhajit...thanks so much for your visit and your thoughtful sentiments.
    I am always glad to hear how words work in peoples' lives.... it is one of the lovely gifts of blogging...
    with regard,

  5. Hello Harlequin
    (Love the name)
    I am glad to meet you. You write beautifully.
    I look forward to more visits. Now I leave the world of blogging and a rainbow of diversity to the work world with its own charms....Thank you for stopping by Psyche Connections and joining

  6. Linda-- I like the name as well... ah, these multiple identities we inhabit.... I enjoyed my visit to your blog and will return....and thanks for the kind comments on my writing...hope today's world of work is as charming as it can be ....
    with regard,

  7. now that i can comment, like to tell you once more how this touched me...

  8. and i put the link to this post on my blog...


  9. HB-- I am so touched by your return and your attentiveness... thank you for your insight so beautifully expressed...
    with regard

  10. This beautifully written piece nearly brought me to my knees because my mother had forgotten who I was once when she was in a mental institution and had shock treatments. She told me I was a pretty girl and asked what my name was. I'll never, ever forget that day.

    I'm glad you still have your mother, and happy too that your panic and sadness lasted only 60 seconds.

    I came here through HB's link...and I'm so glad I did!


  11. Studio Lolo--thank you so much for your comments.I too am glad and grateful to be in a strong relationship with my own mother, and I am hoping that this 60 seconds of panic and sadness might nurture in me the need to be aware of what I might need to develop in myself to remain loving and respectful should my mom's memory status change.
    I am also deeply touched by how this piece has worked for other readers...
    feel free to visit anytime...