Friday, November 18, 2011

The Persistence of Memory

There is no one way to let go, to hold on, to give up hope of a better past, and to live in this moment, as painful as it may be, as you let a loved one go. I can't stop being drawn to listen to the song The Persistence of Memory, over and over again. It is so ironic, because it brings me back to a time and place when I was in elementary school, starring as the scarecrow in the school production of The Wizard of Oz, a book that has become my personal bible. I remember going to my teacher Mrs. Snyder's house for a cast party, and as everyone mingled, the painfully shy me, sat on the couch devouring what would be the first art book that would start my obsessively wonderful art book collection. When I returned home like an excited school girl, and told my parents, my next surprise present was none other than my very own copy of the Salvador Dali that I still have today. This book, the luscious gold covered Salvador Dali book, with the melting clocks of his painting The Persistence of Memory on the cover, is still one of my all time cherished books. I became enthralled with surrealism in art and still am, and the way I am feeling right now is surreal. I am sleep deprived and my soul is aching. My legs feel as liquid as the melting clocks, and they feel as they can not support me most of the time. I feel the need for the crutches that are omnipresent in Dali's paintings. I am trying to hold my family and myself up with a liquid body, and hold my mother up as well, because her legs are truly failing, her as she transitions out of the world as she has known it. I am so angry that I keep being presented with lessons on how to learn to live "the new normal". How many shifts in the world as one knows it, can be made, and still feel some sort of stability, rootedness, sense of place? I feel as if as soon as I learn how to navigate a road, the road changes. They have been tarring and paving and rerouting people in this Florida community in which my mother lives for the two weeks (or has it been two months that I have been here?) and nothing seems to go smoothly. Time seems to both stand still, and be endless at the same time. Is it unrealistic to think that life should go smoothly? Apparently so! I finished my 2 mile walk, in the first rain and breeze of this oppressively hot and humid Florida. It has felt suffocating, but not as suffocating as my mother must be enduring, so how can I complain. I can finally open the windows and let a bit of the outside in, but it still feels so claustrophobic. I feel like I am drowning and trying to reach and grab onto a lifeline that I can barely see through the fog, yet I continue to reach, to dig deeply, to find the strength to move through this, knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel, although it seems so dark and elusive in this moment. I have to have faith that light does exist and that "this too shall pass" (one of my father's favorite sayings). Although right now, I find it difficult to feel thankful or grateful, although this year has given me so much to feel grateful for, this Thanksgiving, the greatest gift would be a peaceful dignified passing for my mother. As I completed my walk, the last song to shuffle to my ears was India Arie singing the lyrics "strength, courage and wisdom are inside of me". Have to make that my mantra and hold onto that truth and believe. And then the memories will persist, good, bad and everything in between. I think that must be what we call life...........
The Persistence of Memory
When I’m traveling far from home
On the wide horizon
I can feel you’re still around
And the dream overtakes me
Then I know, you’ll stay in this moment
We’ll go where it’s flowing
You’ll be what you want to be right here, with me 
When I’m out here on my own
And it all cuts through me
I see you’re safe alone
Ah, then it hits me 
And I know, you’re here in this moment
Right where it’s flowing
You are what you want to be
Right here, with me
Stay in this moment
Go where it’s flowing
You are what you want to be
Right here, with me . . . with me . . . with me. . .

1 comment:

Sparks of Spirit Glass said...

I wish you easy breathing. Your plate is full. Too full. Writing is good. Breathing is good too. Blessings to you and your family as you navigate these difficult transitions.