When my mom died 30 years ago today, she left behind many pieces of unfinished art. Though not enough. I wish there were more. Much of her art was in the hands of others, and I have only my memory of them. She made things before the days of Instagram and camera phones.
When she died, I couldn’t imagine the future without her. If you’ve lost someone, you know what I mean. You can understand the facts, but they make no sense when you want to pick up the phone and hear that person’s voice.
Or perhaps you know this feeling. You’re walking through your life, minding your own business more or less, doing your usual things, and in an instant (possibly phone call or a person walking into the room to tell you something) the world you were in gone. Just like that. Shocked and confused, you are somewhere else. The furniture remains in place, the things are right where they were, yet nothing is the same. Not the earth beneath your feet nor the sun in the sky.
I guess we adjust. After all, we can’t go back.
We’re often taught to work hard, make the change we want to see, go for it, try harder, don’t give up. You know, the idea that if we want something, all we have to do is work for it. But you can’t work hard enough to go back to that other world.
Sometimes I think pieces of the world I used to live in are here, like in the art, the memories, and the way I laugh–glimpses and echoes. There are people who prefer to box these things up and put them away. Understandable really. Why wouldn’t you do that?
But I decorate with them like fairy lights. Here’s the art, the coffee cup, the note. Oh how they shine.
Thank you for reading.