Monday, February 24, 2020

On the anniversary of my mother’s birth

     Doesn't she miss that house? the young woman asks, that big, beautiful house in Uxbridge? For a moment Lol doesn't answer, all eyes are upon her, something, a sort of shudder, passes across her eyes. She freezes because of something going on inside her, what? unknown, savage leitmotifs, wild birds in her life--how can we tell?--which wing through her from side to side, and are swallowed up? and then, after they are gone, the wind caused by their passage subsides. She says she doesn't remember ever having lived there. The sentence remains unfinished.
~Marguerite Duras, The Ravishing of Lol Stein


I woke up early and went outside in my white skirt and boots to watch the sun rise to give the seagulls and ravens my left over bread and angry raisins and hair I gathered from my brush. The sound of no rain and bird song woke me. Good hot coffee blue sky tuna for the cats.

I dreamed I watered my cactus. I dreamed a long scrolled piece of paper upon which my sins and good deeds were being accounted for were being shaded in by a lead pencil. The sins were shaded over and over until they were a black ribbon and the good deeds were erasing the black.

It's so quiet this morning I hear the train whistle all the way from Mount Vernon. Sometimes sound carries weirdly over the water. There is something comforting about a train whistle. Something old fashioned and ghostly and solid and forsaken. I once rode a train from Spokane to Montana. It took several days. I was a girl. I read and rocked and read and rocked. I lived for a little while on Flathead Lake. I lived for a little while on a reservation in Havre where I chewed resin from the trees until it turned to gum and ate rosehips and sang church songs.

Mahler sings Kindertotenlieder tends the forest keeps an eye on the magnolias which is how I keep going forward. I don't even touch them (only once forgive me) I just watch and keep track and wonder at all of it. It's a still day. I listened to birdsong and the train and I am forgiven my sins. My trees lift up their hands.





from the kindertotenlieder

Now the sun prepares to rise as brightly,
As though no misfortune had befallen in the night!
The misfortune befell me alone! 
The sun, it shines on all mankind!
You must not enclose the night within you, 
You must immerse it in eternal light.
A little lamp went out in my firmament,
Hail to the joyful light of the world!

3 Comments:

Blogger Ms. Moon said...

This is one of the most beautiful things I've read of your writings. At least to me.

February 24, 2020 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

Thank you darling Mary

February 24, 2020 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger 37paddington said...

Oh Rebecca, I've been away, but really, I needed to be right here. How you write! You inspire me so much, it is such a joy to read you, and this, the images, the scroll of good deeds erasing bad deeds, it's exciting, exquisite to contemplate. I read it again and again. Thank you. I hope you are doing well my sister spirit, woman who lives in my heart.

March 4, 2020 at 8:39 AM  

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