"Shaman," by Lou Rogers, my mother.
Memorial Day was the day my father was found in the river by a fisherman.
Those pins of fate around which lives turn -- his disappearance two weeks before was the first one in my life, though I was unaware, being a baby. My mother was 27, and how she managed I do not know. Though I believe she already dwelt largely in an internal world of tales and visions, and that she fled there.
I woke at 4 this morning with yet more clear a sense of the echoes down the many years of that first event in our tale. Things of great regret, yet perhaps necessary.
What do we do with these things, for our own healing and perhaps the helping of others?
I remember seeing great barges turned by tugs on the rivers of Pittsburgh, slow, slow and with so wide a wake. Turning a life seems as gradual, though with moments of sudden, forward clarity if one is fortunate and receptive. One thinks one is there, and one is not, yet. And the rocking of the waves stirred in the process, what currents and cross currents do they send out that wash through the lives of others in ways we cannot know.
I am convinced that this life is a dash in a continuum, that there are no throwaway beings, nary a flea, and so I think we have no choice but to pour all our misadventures into an alembic and strive to transmute them.
Will we never be who we might have been, or are we who we were meant to be, precisely because of our blunders and the patterns of mischance?
By Lou Rogers, my mother. Oil on canvas. I do not know the title.