Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I need to examine this transition: an hour or so ago I felt defeated, overwhelmed by the worst my allergies have felt in years, annoyed at myself for looking through drawers at scarves, clothing, jewelry, books, just to see what’s around, hurting my hands and what for? I felt defeated, overwhelmed, so much more exhausted than two days ago and why? I wasn't sure what I was doing here, if I would get that glimpse at childhood hopefulness.

And then, what changed? I mean I was looking through photos, and then I looked again -- my sister and my other grandmother 10 or 15 years ago, my grandmother's parents, me in high school modeling for a photo shoot in my grandmother's studio, my father a few years before my birth, and then a few years after, and then I realized I wanted some of these photos, so I looked through them again, and somehow hurting my hands wasn't the same hurt because I was there, in that childhood place. Or not that childhood place, that place of childhood I couldn't have, or couldn't hold, but still.

Like, opening a little box inside the bigger sewing box, a box of glittery sequins, a clear glass leaf and my eyes, sparkling. And then I can look at everything that way, holding me holding the world and I still feel those allergies, I'm still worried that when I get in bed my nose will close like last night, maybe I should be sleeping in a different room, my mother says it was just the mothballs, she was allergic to them too, why didn't she get rid of them earlier? The mothballs and the season, the trees and all their moisture I can even smell that moisture, that east coast humidity and the trees and all their moisture inside I can smell the dust too, how is there so much dust when the house is so clean and when my mother was here she was rushing everything into my head, wanting to tell me before leaving for two nights but why? There is no need to rush, but I felt her urgency and I wanted her to tell me too: I stopped breathing, I felt my body freezing into a picture of calm, that picture that never calms me I could feel myself picturing something, what I wanted, and my mother, telling me, kind of what I wanted but with so much surrounding me, her rush and I took breaks to take it all in, the finances, that's what she wants to talk about, right away, the will and the estate and the artwork and I'm trying to take it all in, because this might be when I get what I was asking her to create for me and she didn't, now it's my grandmother’s will but my mother as the trustee so everything bends around her and I know she's fighting for herself while saying it's all for me and I know she's fighting for herself and it's all for me and I think I will be getting a large sum of money but what I want is a permanent security, my basic needs taken care of, and my mother keeps pulling, pulling out of that sum and pulling me in and I just want to look at sequins, I want to look at sequins first, but I just read the will and I'm looking for the rest. I'm looking for the sequins, it could all be sequins except for when they puncture your skin to sew them on.


kayti said...

I hope you end up with some sense of long term security after having to endure all of this hardship. I am glad you got to stay at your grandmas house. Sorry your going to be on the road for such a long time.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Kayti, thank you so much -- I hope so too!

And, before I got to Baltimore it felt like the travel wasn't taking so much of a toll, but now it's a different story...

Love --