I’ll start with the good news– I am madly in love with Serena lately. She’s so damn cute and smart and… good. Within the last week, she’s started walking! She does gratuitous laps around the house, just for practice, wobbling like a drunken sailor. I’m amazed by her tireless, perpetual motion. I can tell she’s so proud of herself. What a feat! And God, she’s just such a happy person. Happy and innocent and willing. My heart feels marvelously crushed. We made a pilgrimage to Auburn (an hour drive each way) yesterday to apply for passports. (God willing, we are going to Bali this summer with Cosmic Dad!!!) The whole drive, she was content and peaceful. She held her new little stuffed bunny, and she kept saying “Soft. Soft. Soft.” And “Eye. Eye. Eye.” (pointing to his eye) And “Lap. Lap. Lap.” (She had him on her lap…) Such a stimulating conversationalist!
It wasn’t too long ago that I was pulling my hair out and shaking my fist at the sky and wondering why in Grace’s good name I chose to be a mama. I think because we were both stretching together, and let’s face it– sometimes stretching is uncomfortable. Sometimes it can even make you tear and bleed and require copious amounts of stitches and a two night and three day “vacation” at the hospital. (Yes, I’m talking about Serena’s birth.) But now we have stretched into a space of heavenly resonance and relative ease. Of course it is fleeting. But all the more reason to enJOY it.
And speaking of stretching, now for the “bad news”. While we were waiting for our turn to apply for passports, we “bipped” over to Target because I had a gift card and wanted to try on denim shorts. Holy Lord in Heaven. I looked AWFUL in the dressing room mirrors. And this is *not* something that I would normally say… because I have worked so hard to heal my self image and love my body. But fuck. My skin looked loose and lumpy and squished in gross places. How in fuck’s name do they expect anyone to BUY anything when the glaring lights and soul-sucking ambiance make you look and feel so UGLY?
Whoa. This calls for a massive deep breath. Because what a terrible thing to commit to a blank page. Especially as a goddess and leader of the Love Revolution. But sometimes a goddess just gotsta be honest! It was traumatizing. And confusing, too… because I’m almost back to the weight that I was before I got pregnant. I was one twenty five… and now I’m one twenty eight or nine, depending on the time of day, size of my last meal and amount of exercise I’ve had. Maybe that mirror was a government conspiracy in action. Yeah, that’s probably it. And listen, don’t misinterpret my share. I’m not suffering about any of it. It’s more of a fascination with the kaleidoscopic, psychedelic nature of perception.
And then there’s my dear, sweet mama… Her body is now a modest pile of ashes stowed away in the ornately carved, wooden chest I inherited from her when she ditched this crazy planet last month. Ok, you’re right, the PLANET is not crazy. She’s actually very sane. It’s us damn HUMANS that are the nuts! When I was doing mountains of paperwork at Chapel of the Angels, the mortuary where my Ma’s body was cremated, one form stated that they perform a separate process beyond burning, to pulverize the big chunks of bone that are left… Ha! And I had to inscribe my initials alongside said statement to indicate that this was permissible by me! Like, “Yes, I am aware that you will be pulverizing my mom’s bones after you burn her, and it’s totally groovy.” SILLY!!!
In retrospect, I wish that I had’ve said NO! I would’ve loved for her ashes to be laced with bone chunks… I could make jewelry out of them. And arrange them with the crystals and river stones on my panoply of altars. Am I being serious, or kidding? Yeah… I’m not quite sure either.
But one thing I KNOW is that my Ma is laughing with me about her hopelessly pulverized bones.
And since we’re on the subject… how am I doing with the whole losing my Ma thang? Not too bad. When she was still alive, I used to imagine what it would be like when she was gone, and whimper to her about how much I’d miss her, and how it would suck ass not to be able to talk with her and laugh with her (and even get irritated with her!), daily. Her immediate response was always, “I’ll still be with you.” I hated this! Like, easy for YOU to say, Woman, YOU’RE not the one who will be left behind! The last thing you need to hear when facing the crushing reality of impermanence, is some woo-woo, conceptual, spiritual band-aid.
But she was right. (Did you hear that Ma???!!!) She is still right here. And her oh-so-elegant swan dive into the seductive pool of Infinity has transformed my perception of life and death and God and my Self. I remember this particularly cray-zay angel I once knew, Hal… He used to say “the cat is alive AND dead”… or some sort of hippy, acid-head koan like that. I never had any idea what the fuck he was talking about. Until my mom left. And now I feel that she is here. And I am “there”. And Time is a strange dream that *seems* to divide our limitless Self into a finite notion for a fleeting mOMent. I know some part of you knows what the hell I’m saying. Because we are all so immense. But we must feign smallness as we wander this oddball dreamscape. Or must we?…
I appreciate the spiritual expansion that my Ma gifted me in her passing. It’s a relief. To feel so intimate with Infinity… (while still completely riveted in and by this human dream)…
The day before she died, she reminisced about being at my dad’s dad (my grandpa)’s deathbed… His parting words were, “It’s all a mystery to me…” She said he appeared truly befuddled. I LOVE this!!! I mean, his words sure do sum it up!!!… I have finally arrived at a vista of my existence, where I feel crystalline relief at the Mystery of it all. I’ve exhausted myself enough times, trying to muscle through and do it (Life) MY way… Only to be disappointed, devastated, destroyed. I finally get it. Life/God is waaay more qualified to captain this ship. Athena Grace just gets to be First Mate, whose primary task is TO LOVE.
…And to write it all down! With eloquence, honesty, poetic persuasion and humor. It’s actually a pretty cool arrangement.