Sunday, October 24, 2010

Surrendering To Dreams

Little Diary of Getting Old: VIII

And then at night, when old,
we start having vague pointless
scraps of dreams that lead us
to this place or that, since even
our failing senses insist on
outings: and lost friends reappear,
sleepwalking through the stupor
of surrendered existence...

Carlo Betocchi
Translated from the Italian by Geoffrey Brock

This is part of a poem that really took my breath away as I read it. I go through phases where I seem to be having these dreams that are so real. They usually involve my Mom. In them I know she's dead but there she is sitting there talking to me, looking like she always did. Those are the toughest ones. 

And she has been in my dreams almost every night. They are not really about her; she's just in them. I think it's because I'm leaving today to go for a week's visit back home. Well, not home, really. Back to Ohio. I'm visiting my closest friend who I haven't seen in nearly five years. We get to have a week of just "girl time". She's got lots of crazy things planned, old friends I'll be reunited with. This will be good!

But driving the four hours to Ohio, all the grief always comes back. It has been six years now since Mom's been gone. Some days it still feels like a hammer hits me in the stomach, taking my breath away. And I realize all over again that I've lost her. And so I try to put on a brave front and smile for my friend. Her mother just turned 92 and lives near her. She sees her everyday and they are still very close. I try not to wonder why my mother was taken at age 64 every time I see someone else with their mother.

So in my dreams, lately, my mother is just on the periphery. She's there but not really participating. She's just with me, I guess; a presence. I painted this little piece with that in mind. The girl represents me and the glow around her is the love and warmth of a mother that never leaves. Now I can head off on my trip in a better frame of mind. Maybe with a little extra presence with me to keep me company during my drive. 


David Waters said...

I understand about the mum visits me almost is strange but true, these dreams become more intense and real with age.....

beautifully said my friend.

Pam Tucker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam Tucker said...

Ah, thank you David. Your words mean a lot. ;)

laura marie said...

Thanks, Pam, for verbalizing exactly what happens to me too. My dad was 49 when he died (and that's thirty years past), and in dreams that he's in, at a point he leaves--has to take a bus or el somewhere, and we part company knowing he'll be back. I lost my mom only last year, suddenly, ovarian cancer and poof! she was gone, and what you said about what losing your mom and how if feels is IT, exactly. Mom makes appearances in my dreams differently than dad does and upon waking its hard to remember she's gone. I believe your art piece of this girl expresses what this all feels like so well. I hope you have a lovely time on your travels.

Pam Tucker said...

Hi Laura Marie. I'm so sorry you've had such losses. It is very hard when they are suddenly taken. I do feel some comfort in the dreams when Mom visits. I hope you do in yours, as well. Thank you for stopping by. And for your well wishes on my trip. I'm looking forward to it!

Junibears said...

Oh dear Pam. So beautifully written and so meaningful to many who've lost their loved ones.
Only yesterday I was talking to an old friend who lost her husband 5 years ago and she said he's in her dreams every night. I think it's a sign that they never really leave you but still watch over you.

I love your picture and her beautiful face.
June xx

Sunny Lee said...

You must had a very close relationship with your mother. I love how you painted the glow around the girl. I can feel that she is safe and comforted. And have a fun 'girl time' Pam.

Pam Tucker said...

June: Yes, I believe Mom is always with me. Thank you for your kind words. I always love to hear from you. :)

Sunny Lee: Yes, my mother and I were very close. And I am having a wonderful time on my trip! ;)

William said...

Oh Pam. This is such an incredible post. Thank you for letting us share your dreams. Everything about your picture is wonderful. I love the colors you chose. (I've always loved purple.) But the poem is also so perfect for the thoughts you describe. I am going to save the poem so I can read it over and over again. You make me feel terribly guilty, because both of my parents are alive, but I can hardly make myself go see them. It brings back so many bad childhood memories. I don't know how to move past them.

Pam Tucker said...

Bill: Thank you so much, my friend! Yes, I have this poem nearby and look at it often. I'm glad you like it, too. I still struggle with issues w/ my father, so I can relate to your conflicts. It's never easy...but at least we have support of our friends.