Many years back now, I reviewed Vision Quest leader Trebbe Johnson’s lovely book, The World is a Waiting Lover, and, in interim years, I’ve watched Trebbe’s emails go by inviting people to go out and bring beauty to the broken places they know of, to bring the unguent of tender love, humor and creativity to their favorite booboo’s on the face of Mother Earth.
In recent years, though, a deep dark night of the soul, has seen me consumed in healing the broken places in my inner-cape and ability to parent my own self, to the degree that reaching outward was still an urge, but not a sustainable endeavor in my dismantled, broken state.
As I approached the second anniversary of my mother’s death, which always lands within days of Mother’s day weekend, I was strolling an arroyo in the foothills of Albuquerque, and inspiration struck at last.
I came upon this throne, halfway up the bank of the gully and too perfect already to be anything but someone else’s creativity–and I thank them for their act of heavy lifting and love. It’s a stark and stoney lounger, but with a view of the summer sunrise above the mountains and the houses privileged to nestle up to the Open Space.
So I made a date with myself to rise early on Mother’s day and pay homage to The Mother and all mothers: to bring the beauty of soft mother comfort to this beckoning site, to this whimsical wink and smile of concrete– probably a man’s doing– faded but waiting there for a woman’s touch.
In my head and heart, I was a mischievous Snow White, whistling while she worked, every homemaker, making a house a home, humming with tender amusement. Daddy’s and daughters, doggies, joggers and strollers made their way past as I worked.
It took mere minutes. I got out the camera and began recording my handiwork. But something felt sterile still.
I felt in my own body for the answer. I needed to sit down. I crawled up on my newly adorned sculpture and nestled in. I took in the view and a few calming breaths; I fluffed the pillows; and I noticed I was alone. The sun was getting pretty strong, but I rested back into the support of the mother and waited. Eventually, along came a trickle of people, among them a young fellow named Mike, who was kind enough to lend, not only his hand with some quick photography, but also his obliging lap dog, Jester, to make the scene complete! Thanks to them both!
This was to be an act of ephemeral, guerrilla art, alas, as I’d borrowed the pillows from a housemate’s couch. So, soon enough I gathered up the textiles and left the skeleton with just a memory of our game of dress up, shared only with Mike, Jester, and a handful of other passers-by. Next time, I’ll bring pillows dedicated to the cause, if someone doesn’t beat me to it. I rather hope they do.