I spent some time feeling very sorry for myself this evening & in my blind, sorrowful, self-indulgence I ignored my mother instincts. I let the Little Lad go to bed complaining of a tummyache, sans emergency barf-bowl. I thought about it, but I didn't act on it.
I was still up, shortly before midnight, sitting teary-eyed on the bed, blathering to my patient & attentive hubby all my existential woes -- 'I am nearly forty, just look at all the time unaccounted for... I don't have the friendships I wish I had by this time in my life... look at the life-clock, time is ticking... where are we going?... why do I never fit in anywhere?... I'm tired of being on the margin, I'm too old to be on the margin... just look at what we have been through this year, I am still broken from it... we never get to talk to each other, to be together...' on & on & on, ad nauseam.
In the darkness the Little Lad began barfing. Lights came on, lickety split, granting us witness to this epic event. He just kept going, like a broken water line, on & on & on, ad nauseam. I have never seen anything like it.
Just prior to all this, I had been writing a protracted account of how I sorted out my exceptionally ambivalent feelings towards Samhain this year. It was much of this that I was verbally regurgitating to hubby before the Little Lad so effectively interrupted.
I look now at the two & a half handwritten pages & I think it doesn't matter anymore. It's all vomit.
What matters is this: We ignored everything else to recognize & tend to what is most precious.
Earlier this week I exchanged emails with a friend who lost his father this month. This evening, just before I began writing, my mother-in-law emailed me to tell me her best friend died today.
All of my grappling, pontificating & angst is irrelevant because, like sick kids, death just happens. We can't waste our precious time on vomit.
So, I offer a shortened account of my long-winded story. My sister sent me a photograph (actually, a set of photographs) of my Grandmama & her twin sister this weekend. As I looked at all those snapshots, I saw my mother's face, her sister's face, both of her sister's daughters' faces, my sister's face & my own face... all those beautiful faces, all those beautiful women, smiling back at me.
Here was the Source, the Source of all our faces. Instantly, Samhain made sense.
Now, in this strangely lucid moment some time after 2 a.m., I realize that I spent a little too much time in close quarters with the spectre of death this past year. I am still reeling from it inside & this has played a part in my refusal to acknowledge the value of certain Samhain traditions.
Yesterday, a blogger buddy of mine published a post titled: "Who are you honoring?" I wish that I had been asked that question earlier because its no-frills (or "veils") language gets to the Source -- it focuses on what is most precious. I am thankful to her for that.
So, who will I honor? Today, I will honor my Grandmama, the Source of all our faces. I don't have a group or friends to share this occasion with, so it will be just me, the fam & perhaps a glass of wine. No frills, just what is most precious. I won't even need a mirror -- the photograph is mirror enough.
|"The Source of All Our Faces": My Grandmama & her twin sister, Jean.|