Monday, May 04, 2009

I hate sentimental writing. I absolutely despise clichés, hokey metaphors, things we’ve all heard before in Hallmark movies. On the surface, it seems like loss provokes really bad art; but one thing I’ve realized is that words and images we consider trite are maligned for their overuse, which, truthfully, just signals something inherently human. And therefore something inherently true. So while it may make the artist in my cringe to say that I feel my mom in the budding flowers, that all of this new life around me is that much more meaningful, that she lives on in the butterflies, yadda yadda, it’s nothing short of the truth. Everyone can relate to nature; and maybe that’s where we go after its all over, just so people can continue to relate to us, to remember us.

It’s my mom telling me to lighten up. Not everything has to be dark and enigmatic – some things really are as simple as a tulip.

And so here I am, being sentimental, because goddamnit, remembering my mom is sentimental. It’s springtime. How delightfully ironic. The little book that I have that talks about loss suggests that I “do not resent springtime”. To be honest, the thought never even crossed my mind – the sun, the flowers, all feel like delicious hot water on a mosquito bite, gradually easing the pain without covering it up. A clichéd but indispensable reminder that life goes on, a warm, sunny world to make my bed. This is how I’ve been living – using the loss of my mother as a context, making every flower that much more meaningful, the blue of the sky like her eyes, the sun like one of her warm hugs.

There are very, very bitter times, too, and my body informs me of these physiologically – sleep has been an unreliable friend in recent times, present and warm and enveloping for a week and then fleeting and acrid the next. It takes enormous strength to allow the roller coaster to happen, because when any kind of control is attempted, the balance of grief (complex as it is) will crash and destroy the beauty I do see in the budding flowers. To step away from my own emotional life and let it run, independent, is the only way of living truthfully now.

I can only hope that I let this hole left in me become something beautiful. Right now, I am simply puzzled by it. I am still a child, lost in a field without her mother, using my base navigational skills to find my way; and now I have to let those skills become something. Let the hole become a shrine, a place of rest for her memory.

On a lighter note, I know that one of the best things about seeing so many of you at my mom’s service was connecting and telling stories, and taking on my new responsibility of being the “news –bearer” of our family. So I’ll start a little on this blog, and then I would appreciate e-mail addresses for there are many of you (her high school friends!) that I would love to keep up with in a more personal way.

I just had one major success in my life, which was passing the biggest audition of my college career! I had to audition to gain Performance status to my major, a very big honor that is reserved only for those who the music faculty think can appropriately pursue graduate school and eventually a professional career in performance. I made it, and now I can relax into my voice and know that I have the support to pursue my passion. I’m almost finished with my 3rd year at Whitman, and can’t wait to graduate and get out into that big scary world. This summer, I’ll be mostly in Seattle, where I’ll attend the Seattle Academy of Baroque Opera Accademia d’Amore program, a workshop exploring operatic literature from the 17th and 18th centuries. Several other opera programs have expressed interest and so I may spend part of the summer in Vancouver, or perhaps Hawaii, if all goes well!

My brother and Magali have been living, working, and playing hard in Seattle, and are now currently weighing their options for the future. The world is definitely their playground!

My wonderful father, aside from being constantly on the other line of the telephone for me, is doing his best to stop and smell the roses, as he’s gone back to work and been spending time with all of his wonderful friends who support him no matter what. We’ve all been planning a trip to Europe this summer which will be a much needed exploration and diversion from our hardships, and a great opportunity to spend time together.

Thanks for checking the blog, and make sure you do so from time to time! I have several ideas for future posts, so it won’t be going away completely!