Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

01 December 2011

Like a Prayer: To My Mother


Hanging up the phone tonight, after talking with my ancient mother, I said to her, as I always say: "I love you."  Obligatory, yes, and yet, I know I truly mean it.  I know that if tomorrow, if I had not said it, and if I were to receive the call that told me she has finally departed this domain, I would tear myself apart for not having said those three words to her the last time we spoke on this beautiful planet.

Those three words are an obligation, and yet they are all I want to have ever said to my mother, because they summarize all of my messages to her, over the years, over the decades, over the centuries:  my messages of hope, of expectation, of disappointment, of demand, of guilt, of sadness, of hurt, of happiness, of intentions, of plans, of relationships, of joys, of men, of women, of children, of change, of desire, of despair, of impatience, of patience, of giving up, of acceptance, of life, of life, of life --- all those messages I've ever shared with my mother over my multiple lifetimes, which she has listened to so patiently, are best summed up with one message: I love you.   And so I say it, dutifully, every night when I call her before she goes to bed.  It's true.  I do.  Like a nighttime prayer, I call my mother, listen to her litany of pains and changes in her aching aging body, and then I say "I love you," and "sleep well."


I love you.  What does it truly mean to say that?  In the long term, when you've lived as long as I have, it is to say this:

You have a place in my heart.
No one else has that place --
only you--
and when I visit it, I am
with you.

The mystery and the magic lies
in this:
my heart has more places
than I can count,
and each has a different shape
                         and size
that can only be found
when its occupant is found --
In other words,
dear reader,
I did not know that place existed 
in my heart, that place
the size of you
until I met you, and then
there it was --
beating, throbbing, flexible, growing
that place in my heart 
that was made for you --
that was waiting for you --

No one else will fit there,
and it will endure,
as long as I endure--

This
is what it means when I say
I love you,
and I do ---
               who

ever you are, my many
silent ethereal, virtual friends --
love you ---

read it every night
before you go to bed
                           like a prayer.   



3 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh, those special places in the heart that only their matching keys will open!

Makropoulos said...

Hi Debra, How's it going? I hope you had a good vacation! I've been working an awful lot lately; will be blogging, and visiting blogs, much more very soon --

laurak@forestwalkart said...

so nice...your words...love them.

to love so many different things in so many different ways...it's good to know we have room in our hearts to store the loves we have and have had...and can reach in, see it, feel it...again and again.

and saying i love you whenever possible...because we never know what the next moment will bring.