MAPS

I took her hand in mine. Between us there was space. I tried to close it with tears. I thought if I let them out they would work like glue. I thought tears stick to us. I was wrong. Tears are slippery.

With every breath she slipped away. It was a labor. Every breath. Every beat a carefully orchestrated hymnal.

They say when someone is dying you can see how much pain they are in by the scrunch of their face. If the dying begins to resemble a shar-pei for instance, that would be indicative of a lot. If the dying resembles a placid glacier, we could assume one is at peace.

Mother said slip. Glide. Twirl if one must. Let music break from bone.

I saw the light once. It was quiet. There was no organ. But it was smooth. And it was everywhere. I became a part of it. It was all there was. Light light light.

When she took her last breath it became quiet like light. There was nothing in her body, but everything was there.

I was afraid to look because I knew. I knew this is all there ever was.

Mother flies around me. Especially in the ambrosia. She wears pink. Translucent.

I watched her body for twenty-four hours. She did not want it moved. For twenty-four hours. Her hand became stiff. I wondered if the tears did it. Maybe tears are slippery, but maybe they harden and freeze our memories in place.

Mother left me words. She left me all the words like colors in a crayon box. She said to draw my pictures. Pictures will mean something one day.

I wonder about flying sometimes. I wonder about the pictures I will leave behind. I wonder if they will matter like the dying say they do. I wonder if others know I am drawing. I wonder if they think my pictures are funny looking. I wonder if they know I know.

Mother reminds me to focus on my quiet.

The light is like a kiss. It is the only way I know how to draw it. It is desire. It is longing. It is enveloping. It is loving. It is everything.

Mother kisses us when we are alone.

I put a wig on my mother before she died. She was eating. It was long and bright magenta. It made me laugh. She let me laugh.

Mother’s eyeglasses stayed on the bedside table for five years. They were dusty.

I spent a long time looking for my mother in spaces and places. I searched under people and in between sheets. I flipped through pages. I turned over glasses. But no mother anywhere.

Oh where oh where oh where can she be?

Some say the dying go home.

Why aren’t we home yet? It’s getting late. The tune is out of range.

I have come to feel we get closer to home the more we make it here. I’m drawing the picture. I am not sure anyone knows what I am drawing. I keep drawing light. It’s bright and there are no lines. It keeps going and going and going. Endlessly. I think it may be hard for others to see. Maybe I should draw a sign with a pointer finger that swings back and forth. People need to see things move. They have a hard time deciphering quiet.

The music is in the quiet.

I told my friend recently that before my mother died she wanted me to get married. I never did it. Not for real at least. Because I think mother was talking about merging. Merging is how you make home come alive here faster. Speed can feel scary. We fear ends. But home is not an end. It is an All.

We must learn surrender. Practice trust. The closer we get to making it here, the closer we get to home.

I studied Latin in college. I went to a university with a Latin motto. It is a translation of Psalm 36:9. I do not think it is a mistake I drew this picture. I do not make up the things I draw. I draw what the hand draws.

In Lumine Tuo Videbimis Lumen. In Thy light shall we see light.

I saw the light once. Some people see it all the time. They say it is everywhere. I keep drawing the pictures with no lines. I have this feeling it is easier for people to see. Light everywhere. Bright bright bright.

Mother gave me the words to draw pictures.

I long have thought the map home is unchartered. Unknown.

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Heather Shorey

Heather Shorey

Working the Craft. Experimenting Work(s) in Progress. Interested in Feedback for Further Development.