Music Holds the Keys to Life My Mother


She hung a print above my bed of a girl with a very long neck, an oblong face and eyes deep and black. The artist, Modigliani , remains one of my favorites today. Everything in my bedroom matched. She chose tiny yellow flowered wallpaper along with the same printed curtains. A bed, dresser, mirror and chair were antiqued to a sepia sheen with fruits and flowers painted on the drawers. These were copied and became some of my first drawings. That dresser is still now in my bedroom and remains precious to me. She even wallpapered the inside of the drawers.ImageShe was always so clean and neat and her appearance was beautiful . This mattered to her, especially her hairstyle. As a child she made bedtime sweet, like a happy ending to a summer story .First a bath and braiding my hair one on each side until I was ten. Always fresh sheets and a little chat about the day as she sat on the edge of my little bed.(this seems like a fairy tale to me now)….and a prayer called Jesus Tender Shepherd Hear Me. I never was left to face the night alone.

Into that dresser mirror when I was 12, I spoke out loud to my image and said, “my mind is telling me something different than what my mom is telling me is important and true!”  From that moment I began my own path and kept secret many thoughts about life. But in my bedroom her loving spirit hovered even though I felt so misunderstood.

I used to say , before my mother died, that we weren’t very close, but that is not true. I always felt close to her in my heart. She just wasnt able to have the awareness of who I was……or who she really was either. It frightened her. She was scared of a lot of things, inner truth and water and dogs( even though she let me have one once). And she so disliked dirt and disorder, hippies and rock music. I wish now that I would have spent more time with her. I don’t know enough about her, she never said much about identities . But I do know this, I was tenderly and affectionately loved as a child and now I know that I was always loved this way. She was a member of the symphonic choir , a soprano and often a soloist in the church choir. I love music because of her and I am so grateful! When the symphony orchestra played she would often take me along instead of my dad who didn’t like classical music. But sometimes in the kitchen I would see my parents dancing close together and it would take my breath away.

She was delicate and wounded in ways I did not know, yet she loved. My appreciation of fabrics, textiles and colors are her influence, my art is too. And when she played her piano and I secretly would lay beneath it as a child and young girl, my soul would leap at her expressive heart coming thru her small fingers like a butterfly escaping from its cocoon.Moonlight Sonata is my mother.

My recent creation of a sculptural ” momento mori” ( immortality) series is in honor of her.I began it this past summer and I continue here in Bulgaria. Her memory consumes me and I often cry. I believe that she lives in perfection now. I feel her often beside me walking thru the rolling pastures surrounding this village. One night recently I woke wondering where that sweet singing was coming from….it was her  voice coming out of me…a song I remembered only just then as a child’s memory…all 3 verses from my mothers voice let loose from inside of me.

I would like to share this video of Florence + the machine with you mom. I think you will understand now. It’s up above.

4 thoughts on “Music Holds the Keys to Life My Mother

  1. Ah Meg we are all wounded (some day read the so human Catholic pastoral theologian Henri Nouwen) in our own ways and so many of us will after the departure of a dear family member wish we had spent more time. But sometimes perhaps we are much to hard on ourselves. I sense as a possibility, Meg, that to wish we had spent more time with the loved one, is in itself an indication that we did spend a humanly significant time with this person … YOUR MUM … otherwise I do not think that wish of …”only if I had spent more time” … would exist. I have only known of you for the shortest of times but I see in you a spectacularly delightful and open and gracious and kind and human and at times sad and frightened woman … as my Uncle wrote in one of his books regarding his wife … “…She is the most perfectly imperfect woman and person …” . If he had the pleasure of meeting YOU his words would be the same as he would speak of you. To truly know your Mum as you wish, I sense you need only look at yourself … you are a mirror of your Mum … through her pictures which are like icons … you have a vision into her and yourself. As strange as this might seem, I have no happiness in knowing of you crying tears as from a rusty sprinkler, at the same time I feel joy that you do. It is as it should be. Your writings are gems and so honest and true. I can see the thread that runs through so much of what you write and this blog here sheds such important light on the “Joyce” and “Suitcase” blogs. I am touched to be able to have the experience to be gifted with your thoughts. Special blessing to you, Meg.


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