Friday, November 07, 2003

My Mother

Though I am in my 50's, I was born in August of 1986. My birth announcement was a yellow poster hung on a university wall. The midwife was my best friend who brought the poster home and kept bugging me to go, finally scheduling an interview for me whether I wanted one or not. My father is impossible to describe, scary to some, magnetic to me, speaking in a whisper, robed in maroon with eyes that open back into space folded on itself and a body that perturbs the local gravitational field. My mother was a community: people who fed my father, printed the poster and let me into their house to be born. Though I am coarse and awkward, my father gave me a name that means clear light. It is good to have something to aspire to. I was scared and almost didn't show up for my own birth. I was so late all the cards were gone and my name is written on a piece of simple letterhead signed by my father.

My father's work takes him on the road a lot and I don't see him much. But he has arranged for me to meet many of his brothers and they have taken good care of me over the years. Now my uncles and my father seem like the same person to me, like one of those funny deities with multiple heads.

My mother has always been there, quietly in the background. She arranges for my father and uncles to visit. She feeds them when they come and has a place where I can listen to them talk and then visit privately with them. Over the years my father and uncles have sired lots of other children by my mother. My mother's house can be very quiet or it can be a riot of activity when a lot of my brothers and sisters show up. Many of my brothers and sisters are growing up and doing wonderful things. They practice and do retreat and other things that make my father and uncles smile. Now my mother and my brothers and sisters seem like the same person to me, like one of those funny deities with multiple heads and arms and legs.

Though she has always been resilient, it seems to me that my mother is not feeling well right now. I can't tell how serious it is and I don't know if my father or my uncles even know. She has lots of aches and pains and seems unsteady on her feet. Now I am thinking of my mother all the time and praying for her. And I am hoping that anyone else who knows my mother knows to pray for her too. Though she seems unwell, my mother is actually quite young. And she still knows many lamas with whom she hopes to bring many more children into the world.


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