Gone But Not Gone
August 15, 2012 § 55 Comments
“You may think that when you die, you disappear, you no longer exist. But even though you vanish, something which is existent cannot be non-existent. That is the magic.”
My mother does not know who I am. She lives in a locked down wing of a facility that she will never leave. She cannot hold anything in her mind for more than a few seconds. She will die there. I often hope it’s soon.
My mother is gone.
Before she was gone, my mother would often say to me, “You’re such a good writer.” She meant it as a compliment I know but there was something else. It was as though she thought that I didn’t understand, or wasn’t using, my talent.
But all those years my mother kept saying this to me, I was writing. Along the way I published dozens of articles, several book chapters, even a book. And still, I would hear from my mother that same admonishing compliment- “You’re such a good writer.”
What I now understand is that amidst all those pages of published work was hardly a single page that really meant something to me. Mostly cold, academic stuff. Hundreds of pages where I was not to be found.
That’s changed. Now I write what I feel- not what’s expected, not out of any ambition. Writing now because I can’t see any other choice. Drawn to the work with all my heart.
My mother patiently waited all those years for me to believe in myself. By the time I did, it was too late for her. Now she’ll never read anything I write- ever again.
But she’s here, right now, in my work.
Gone- but not gone. Never gone.