We have our barometers of truths and goodness whether we are aware of this or not.
Of truths, mine are writers like Gregorio Brillantes, Robert Hass, and Sylvia Plath and musicians like Morrissey and Janis Joplin. Of goodness, mine remains to be my stepmother. Regarding this second bit, I don’t know how much of my “darkest place” mold since 2000 is out of nostalgia for her. If it’s all nostalgia, then I am really destined to be sad. Nostalgia is an army of silent sentry-killers within. No amount of distractions can do me good. Some affect sadness for their art, others wallow in it since they’re emo. But if I could buy an antidote, I would have long ago purchased a cartful and OD’ed on it.
The third and fourth quarters of any given year are my plateau of quiet sadness, the rock bottom, the chasm. I have chastised myself for this, but it never fails: The signs crop up, and I dread the months leading up to the holiday revelry.
Rarely do you hear me talk about or read my writings of her. My journal sees only glimpses of her. It is enough that I carry her wherever I go, my one true clearing.
“When we buried my mother, some of the light went out of me.” That’s why I like the lamplighter in The Little Prince. It was so easy for him to light lamps because “those were the orders”. It was easy for him.
The dead do not
become stars or ghosts.
In fact, they are
Soon their randomly
by one on
the beloved ear
or freckled arm,
separate as a
milagro or bracelet
charm. It is not
odd. Even a piece
does us some good.
This is the root of my fascination toward commuting. I look for her in people’s features, her fragments flying around and rooting themselves in strangers.
“Something inside her had turned rock-hard and died.” – Haruki Murakami