Having lost 2 of my 3 parents now, I feel a bit clingier to my mom. I hang on her words and gestures so they don’t get lost in the mourning when she’s gone. I find myself trying to memorize her and bowing to the sweet things so I have them to reconcile all the horn-locking we did for the bulk of our life together. Now I make more time for her and gather her words like the last peanuts in the Chex mix.
Tonight she told a story that gave me a more full perspective of myself and the origins of my very large and high set balls. It was this fantastic image of a snarling, misogynistic sea captain, a raging storm off the Australian coast and my mother; toe to toe with this douche sac Captain and his beautiful darting eyes and sinister soul. Mom educated him on exactly what and where her place was as an able crew member. As you can see by the photo, mama can hoist and furl with the best of em. Of course the story ended in him taking several double-takes before he turned reluctantly back to the wheel. When she was finished telling the tale, I felt such overwhelming pride and a sense of belonging. Mom and I haven’t always gotten along. Maybe it’s that whole likes repel, detachment thing. Whatever it has been, this was a genuine conversation establishing, as Mom put it, “we have lived authentic lives.” I was so afraid to miss the moment having missed so many with my dads that I decided it was time. She needed to hear the song.
I always thought Mom and I were so different. But the truth is, we’re totally alike…in completely different ways. (Missing my smile emoji) There is a song that always made me think of my mother and her faith. Where my path was layered and terribly complicated with twists, turns and multiple dimensions, my mother always saw her path so clearly and it lead to “heaven.” I have walked such a strange path with religion that it inevitably became my major in college in an attempt to sort it all out. The conclusion I came to is that they are all completely true, and completely fucked. I love philosophy, as it opens the mind to shape itself. But religion does just the opposite of free thinking; it dictates that a single finite thought is greater than the sum or your experience and your imagination. Mom, however, has remained on the stalwart path of faith to the extent that a story she was told as a child was all the reality she needed to create a completely plausible version of existence in which she need never question again how it all began. Wow. I’m in awe of that. I wish I could think one single thought at a time, let alone one single infinite one. But my brain has never worked that way. When I finally learned how to help ME learn I realized the only way I could retain what I read, was to have 5 or 6 books open at the same time and pass from one to the next. I couldn’t imagine an existence where I was not always wondering “what next” “then what” and “what if?” But Mom…she’s a badass AND a genuinely pious woman.
The first time I heard Tool, 10,000 Days, Wings for Marie Part 2, it was truly a spiritual experience. I fully experienced the artist’s beautiful pain-purge. But I never put it together; it was crystal-Freudian clear that I was seeing my Mother and tragically loving her every time I heard it. Tonight, as a version of my mother I could never have imagined began to emerge from the fog of detachment, I’m hearing Wings for Marie in the distance. I stepped quivering out onto that plank of: This could be really beautiful or go really bad… I’m glad I listened to the Shiraz and squeezed through the open window. I said, “Mom, there is a song that’s been making me cry for years…it’s about you. Will you listen to it?” Mom’s mother and father performed Jazz for Hemmingway at Sloppy Joes in Key West so she CAME from music. She had no choice but to say, “Yes.” I’ll finish this after you listen so you understand where we went together
You just listened to Part 2. My 76 year old mom listened to all 17 minutes of the whole composition. She smiled, giggled, nodded and ultimately, cried. We were healed through music. The years of distance were bridged, the misunderstandings translated and every splinter of past pain was set loose into the spans of dark energy to become another star or another birth. For now, we ascended to that higher plane where the psychology doesn’t bind our tongues and hearts. Tonight, I was a tiny child curled up on Mommy’s lap listening to TOOL and telling her, “Thank you for creating giant me from the tiny seeds of you…you demand your wings from the gatekeepers.”
Right now, Mommy and I are on a music cloud enjoying a connection high. Music really is life. Keep disturbing the silence, Music Peeps.