This was a few years ago now. He’s probably forgotten what ‘me-me’ is by now. I wonder if there is a deep longing, the source of which he’s forgotten.
I’ve got one of those unexplained longings. It’s strongest after sun down. I doubt it has anything to do with my mother, but who knows? What I want, what we all want, is a deep abiding connection. To each other. To the world. Maybe the last time we felt a connection like that was at our mother’s breast.
There once was a little girl whose teacher told her that the sun has yellow rays. She had drawn it with rays of every colour. She knew the teacher was wrong because had seen the sun that very morning through the refractors of her eyelashes. Every colour was there. She thought it was worthy of awe. The teacher, however, said, ‘The sun has yellow rays’, so the little girl drew it with yellow rays from then on.
But one day, years later, when her body was getting old, she drew a shape and coloured it yellow. Before she knew it, it became a bundle of energy that had something to do with the sun, and she realised she was that bundle of energy. She had drawn a self-portrait: a vibrating sparking electrical thing. Also a sun appeared in her sky and, although it had yellow rays, she was also yellow, so everything was ok.
For Nahaiwrimo day 8. Paintbox
There’s a space
where he isn’t.
It’s enormous and keeps
following me around
now here, now here.
The space used to be
full of laughter
and fun, compassion
With him I could
be my self.
When I lost him
I lost a true friend
The photo is by my husband Ervin Janek. It is called ‘Mother and Son’. I find it very touching, especially in the context of this poem. It was done a long time before our son died, but it seems perfect.
The poem reminds me of some of the old Chinese poets, Li Po etc. What do you think?
If you want to see more of Ervin’s images here is his shop and here is his amazing changing facebook collection.
Remember that night when you were ten and we walked
for miles through the neighbours’ clipped fields,
the moonlight so strong we never missed a footing
over fences, the hip of Lorenzetti’s ridge, the road, the creek,
past the dam and up the wide blue moonscape of the far hill.
Hana was a little girl and I had to carry her home.
We walked up the driveway to our place,
out of smooth moonlight into electric light.
Hana fell into bed and you hugged me goodnight,
burying your face into my breasts as you did in those days
because I was half step-mother and half desirable,
and you were just the right height.
You grew, all legs and arms, and comforting you
became more difficult, your head waving up in the air
when it should have been on my shoulder.
And once you were grown, I couldn’t have had a better friend.
Thank you for being my stepson, for teaching me about boys,
for allowing me to mother you with my mother’s heart.
I can’t remember what her drawing was about but it was on tissue paper and I painted white on the other side before gluing it on coloured circles that I’d made while enjoying her watercolours.
When I was a child I did distance education. Mostly I dreamed out the window. Here is the cat keeping me on task