I’ve been writing about my mother since the day I received a large manila envelope from my aunt and uncle in England–an oddly shaped envelope in an unusual shade and weight of paper, with lots of little stamps of Queen Elizabeth. Inside were letters written by my father and grandmother decades before, when I was a child and my mother fell ill. The letters spanned the months when my mother’s illness worsened and, finally, came to its sad, inevitable end. This was a past that had been erased from my memory. Reading those letters, it was as if it was happening for the first time.
Thus began a quest that continues to this day: To understand what I had and what I lost. To listen to the six-year-old’s heart, as her world collapsed in front of her eyes. To discover the mother I lost so long ago, and my self–who I am, and how I am connected to my mother.
This blog will feature several works:
Mapping Eden. I began by trying to write a memoir but soon came up against the fact that there was too much I didn’t remember. I needed to imagine in order to capture it; so this is fiction. The characters and scenes are fictional–means to explore what might have happened, or could happen. What might a child experience? How would her father act, trying to cope? Who was her mother? What happened when her father remarried and everything was supposed to be fine again? And what does it mean to be a woman, a daughter, a mother?
Psalms for a Child Who Has Lost Her Mother. As I explored forgotten facets of my own history, ideas came up that asked to be expressed in another form. I kept hearing the child, voicing things she couldn’t say at the time. Feelings buried way down deep. Anger and loss, confusion and despair–but also, finally, connection and actualization and love.
I’ll include artwork and photographs depicting the past–real and imagined–and the present day.
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