Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Comings and goings


     In his book,The Fire and the Rose, the Jungian Analyst, Bud Harris writes of "the great comings and goings of life." This morning, I paid for a young girl's abortion. The pregnancy was life threatening, medically necessary but I still wept.This past weekend ,I spoke with a friend who'd had death in the family and another storyteller to have a stroke in the very next room. He was into the going out time in  a big way. When you reach your seventies, death starts looking very familiar. In my play The Old Woman in the Basement, Mariah Kincaid is eighty-two.There are enough comings and goings to make you dizzy.
     Last Saturday, I went with my two daughters and my thirteenyear old  granddaughter to Hop'N Blueberry Farm where Van Burnette raises hops for the local brewerys and has a butterfly house full of flowers, a mist raising waterfall and...butterflies, of course.One of the monarchs landed on granddaughter Mollie's head and stayed and stayed and stayed.Butterflies live a short time. It takes four generations to make the miraculous migration possible. My husband, John and I went to Mexico to witness the
miracle. There'd been a cold snap. On the first Monarch mountain, a carpet of dead monarchs covered the ground. But on Chinqua, the butterflies bent  the branches of the trees with the weight of them .A gust of wind a flicker of light and there was a snowstorm of butterflies. "comings and goings.
     August the fifteenth was my anniversary . I wrote the following poem ...a coming and going poem.
 He's Gone
I yell into an empty house saying
I Love You to myself. No one else
to do it. He's gone.
He died on March 3rd, two years ago
They made a mistake at the funeral home
and say it is the second. No, I say
 setting them's eleven at night.
Son Bob's on the plane.Becky's at the vets
with her lab, Sadie, who dies, too, that
night. Carol, our youngest , and I walk
into his room. they've given him
morphine in something chocolate. It
dribbles down his chin. There's just one
chair by his bed. You first, I say, I'll
wait in there. I lie down on a pee-stained
couch, close my eyes, a hand on my
shoulder. Carol says, "He's gone.
No,no,no,no.Say it enough and he'll
 start breathing. I lean to put my hands
on his face. I try to rub him back
in his skin. Didn't his chest move?
No..says the nurse. He's gone.
Two consonants , two vowels. The
hard g clangs like a temple bell off
my breast bone. Truth is, he's been
gone. The Alzheimer's plaque now
covers his brain but the night before
there's that light  that says I know you
Now ... he's gone... on to where he's going.

    In the play, Old Woman In The Basement, Mariah goes down near bout as far as you can but in the last scene help comes from an unexpected source and laughter saves her hide. Who said, "I can stand anything so long as I can laugh at it.' Maybe it was me.
     Did you hear the one about the old woman who lived by herself, wouldn't come into town. One night, a big bruiser of a guy burst through the door, throws her to the floor, starts unbuckling his belt, planning to violate her. She looks up from her prone position and says, "Now wouldn't your mother be ashamed!" He stops, buckles up and picks up her car keys. The old woman now on her feet, says,"
Okay, take the car. but I just got it back from the mechanic. He said not to drive it over thirty-five.
So ...when they picked him up...YES ..he was driving thirty-five miles an hour.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Gwenda, Was an honor to have time with you on your anniversary...and an even bigger honor to have a glimpse into your heart of hearts. I can see how the Old Woman will be a telling of all of our tales...and that you are living quite closely with her these days as you grow and develop the story.

    Look forward to gathering the women at my home for a sharing of your to come about that!