Oddments

In search of story


4 Comments

Connections: April 29.17

I have been in an alternate universe

a place I have been before

where perpetual motion is rampant

and parents a mere twoscore.

There’s soccer and softball and homework

lives lived digitally

two kids, two cats, two dogs,

and Grandma (that would be me).

Mom in a sling and Dad far away

a convergence of planning and chance

with non-stop pre-teen rhythm

and flying by the seat of our pants.

I lived in a place such as this

in a dim and distant past

when I had an abundance of pep

and my hormones hadn’t lapsed

but now my creaky bones

move far less supplely

and I don’t know when I’ll recover

from the onslaught of energy.

Connections


6 Comments

Vagaries in Gestation: On Being Linear, Part lll, March 15.17

©M. O’Hern

 

There may be no lines in Nature, but there are lines in Geometry, where I learned that a line is an infinite series of dots, that we see only a segment of it as it stretches into infinity. That hurt my head.

Can’t a line be just a line? Must Geometry ruin more than an hour of the school day? Must it contaminate every sketch wherein a line suggests a form, a gesture?

These lines tell of a hand, our first tool and our last. If the lines stretch into infinity, how fitting that they take with them this transient tool. This hand, no longer useful, waits. My pencil reaches out, as does my heart, to that waiting, transcribing it to something see-able. Something tangible. Some way to show what I feel. Some way to keep my dad.

When I sketched this, I didn’t know he would die in two days. I only knew that I was seeing things that no one else saw. I was alone at his bedside, as usual. I am sure that, as it sketched, my hand was also reaching out. Would anyone ever know what this was like for the solitary daughter? Yes. Now you know.

If the line we see is only a segment of its infinite self, what does that tell us about everything else we see?

It flows then like the line that the simplicity of a sketch is not simple at all.

 

 

 

Vagaries in Gestation

 

 


2 Comments

Vagaries in Gestation: November 28.16

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Yesterday I drove to the park and, as always, slowed on the adjacent street, where little wiggly people are unloaded from back seats. A car at the curb had its doors open on the street side, so I stopped and waited.

A man stood at the side of the car, arm outstretched, helping someone out. Not a wiggly little person but a ponderously slow older person. A woman. Bundled warmly against the November day, she held his hand tightly. I caught only a brief glimpse of her but I knew. I knew those blank eyes and that empty face. I knew that slight curl inward. I couldn’t swallow because of the lump in my throat and I couldn’t see because of the tears. It all comes back so quickly.

I walked around the park and so did they. No. They did not walk. She moved her feet in that familiar shuffle, achingly slow, leaning hard on him. His baby steps described patience beyond words. Twice I noticed that they stood in embrace, she apparently clinging to him.

There was a slight wind, causing tears to run down my face. I tasted their salt and was grateful for the release.

Caregiving and dementia change people so I cannot say if he were husband or son, but I think son. I think the husband was at the playground with a little granddaughter, he seeking respite which isn’t because there is no respite from dementia. It is merciless in its constancy and as steely cold as the water in the creek.

I stood over the creek yesterday and thought about the cold water that runs through life and the daunting aloneness of those who stand firm in it.

 

 

 

 

Vagaries in Gestation

 


2 Comments

Connections: May 4

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe waiting chair

where time stops

where machines and tubes

beepings, flashing numbers

measure life

in lifeless pulse.

My chair once

sometimes my younger son’s

as we

waited

for one fading generation

now my firstborn’s

as he waits

for me.

Connections


4 Comments

Connections: January 27

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAIf you are colorless

like death

parchment shade of yourself

suspended

over winter water

— leering mirror

waggly-lined mockery of the real —

bent ever closer

to the purr of cold,

solitary

  unclothed

    but for frost’s wrap,

    rooted in a clay famine

   thick with indifference,

then

you are caregiver.

Warmth and shelter of Denial

hoarded by others,

yours the endless winter of dementia

never

never

 spring.

Connections


Leave a comment

Connections: November 8

An entire playground!

Does it matter?

Naturally not —

they want the same ladder.

At the same moment.

Because better than play

is sibling foment.

An album opens

in my head —

other siblings,

some long dead.

‘Twas ever thus:

siblings meant to feud and fuss.

Then years go agley

to entropy:

family, home, brain and bone.

One crumpled sibling stands alone

in hospital starkness

sleepless darkness.

Why is one

the caregiver daughter or caregiver son?

Connections