My mother saw the world through beauty until she went blind seven years ago.
Will the metronome stop suddenly, will my fingers stop playing, frozen in their accustomed position, no longer able to stroke the keys to the rhythm of life? Will the angels stop singing?
When she goes, will I ride through life without a song? Will all the music stop? Will I still be able to keep a beat, listen to Horowitz in the same way? Every time I hear a hymn, will I remember her beautiful alto voice as my grandmother played her upright piano and the extended family sang shape-note hymns in harmony on a Sunday afternoon after church?
Will I cry every time I hear or read Whitman or Longfellow, or the many poems she knows by heart and can still recite? Will poetry ever be the same, or will it too lose its capacity to take me into its arms and soothe the day’s wounds?
Will I look at a painting, a quilt, a piece of art, and still perceive its beauty? Will visual beauty have the same all-encompassing, skip-a-breath effect it has now, or will it become cerebral and dull?
Every quilt she made was an objet d’art. Will quilts all be beautiful, or will they take on an unforeseen ugliness, forever bringing my mother back to life like a dagger through my heart? Quilts will become like life — pieces patched together however the quilter can, using whatever is available; living life with whatever, however it takes to survive — not art. Or will they? Perhaps that’s what art is, and not some planned and orderly activity. It’s about putting the chaos into some form that is aesthetic, pleasing, and has an important message.
- Hanging out with My Mother
- The Mama Posts, January 8, 2013
- The Mama Posts: January 9, 2013
- The Mama Posts: Reflections on my Mother, January 13, 2011