The silent morning compared

            I am running as people often do. I think of Tom and Nick, people in the past I have let drift. Still the birds chirp rampantly and yesterday I wrote about Louis Menand and listened again to his American Studies essay on The New Yorker.

            It is the beginning of summer and yesterday I promised I would pick up my mother, who is probably lying in bed in her nursing home. Last time I saw her she was pulling at her chin hairs. I pulled them that day and then we, my sister and I, took her to dinner. I think mother stared at the single, small, open-faced chicken taco that she said was too spicy. With both upper and lower dentures, I think the issue was just chewing. She did however eat something chocolate from what I remember, except that I really can’t remember. I base everything on the likelihood of the experience because that’s what we do. Chocolate sauce and chocolate cake, there’s ice cream, coffee, and cokes, which are mother’s cc’s.

            The whole world is quiet, less of course the birds chirping. I have humming birds, the occasional honeybees that have found the humming bird feeder. The mother in the birdhouse is protecting her babies by constantly attacking them.

            What’s a mother to do?

            I know Lani Kim sacrificed herself for her children, but then children grow up to be people with fresh memories and opinions and life wasn’t meant to be The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. She can tell you that it is about doing what you are supposed to be doing because sometimes the love between a man and a woman must take a back seat. Children are much more important, where a mother’s heart can lie dormant for years; she keeps the memory of a true love and wears sadness like a perfect smile that warms every heart.

            No, the past is just decisions made based on something that could not be ignored. Love comes and goes. My therapist said that you can love many people, and she was correct.

            At a point however you take less pause in beauty’s pull. You start to remember too those you loved, but just not sexually, who were good mates. You were always jealous of those who had such even keeled relationships. Because, at least for you, you always waited for the dramatic beginnings and where the obvious good forces in being with someone who was good for you wasn’t appealing until now. Second thoughts, at nearly 53, are to imagine how many great years you could have had if you’d only kept Laine Page, for example. You and she were always together reading books and talking about them. No, that was true love.

            But then there’s none of that now, only someone else’s babies and the silent morning compared.

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One comment

  1. I enjoyed reading this short story that tells us about a silent morning except for some birds chirping rampantly. I think this beautiful image may be seen as the ideal world as opposed to the hard reality of an aging mother who is losing self-governance. As a reader one inevitably thinks about the living conditions of the elderly. None of us wants to become dependent on others because it means losing the limited freedom we may have. Losing self-governance is actually what we fear most when we start to age. I think it must be one of the hardest, if not the hardest of all the things to accept. In this context, is it really worth it to lengthen human life artificially?

    The story establishes an interesting analogy between the role mother bird and human mother. The mother bird has to protect her babies as does the human mother. They both need to sacrifice themselves. The fact that children become something so important in human life affects love relationships to the extent that “… sometimes the love between a man and a woman must take a back seat.” I don’t have any children myself but I think this is an important reflection for those who have. Children can bring couples closer, but they can also separate them. I particularly like these lines because they beautifully express what a mother often feels: “…a mother’s heart can lie dormant for years; she keeps the memory of a true love and wears sadness like a perfect smile that warms every heart.”

    Finally, I would like to say that while reading this story I felt COMPASSION and EMPATHY for the narrator´s mother and SADNESS for his love life not being accomplished as it could have been.


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