Thursday, September 26, 2019

Best and Brightest

It really was the most beautiful day to go to the beach — temperature at 86° a luxurious warm, no wind and nary a trace of fog.  The sun so brilliant, it shattered all records of illuminated grandeur.

A visit with Rebecca Didomenico is always to the brim with inspiration. We walked the walk and talked the talk about art and imagination and how to best represent.

In the deep of night I turned to her gift of her latest book Flying Inside Paper, 60 poems and images, published on the occasion of her 60th birthday to celebrate her 60 years of creative life. And wouldn’t ya know, as it happened, the pages fell open to the most moving of reflections about her mother Ann Stephens who I had the great good fortune to befriend for some 30 years.

Noticing is The Only Witness of Memory Left 

Did anyone notice the moon? 
It’s glorious, she said, with more than enough light 
pouring out of her eyes.
Even though, lately 
her eyes are devoid of anything 
remotely luminous 
not to mention glorious.
Now she sits at the table, 
not eating, not making connections 
to the words coming out of our mouths.
Every once in a while, 
she spells a random word out loud,
as if to make it belong to the conversation in her mind.

And I know how she feels: 
how sometimes 
the words fall short of their meanings 
And how they seem to be bumper cars 
colliding in the cover of night.

And I think about how my husband used to say,
If I hear one more time 
how that plum tree is the most beautiful tree in the world 
Or this restaurant is the best one she’s ever eaten at,
I will scream. 
And I say, think about the alternative;
sitting there for eternity with a bitter old woman 
who can’t hold the splendor in anything. 
And because, sometimes 
my husband has an uncharacteristic ability 
to surprise you with his talent for learning, 
He turns to her,
The half of his face next to mine in darkness,
and says, I notice, dear,
What would we be without her!
(meaning, of course, my mother 
and the moon simultaneously),

and our Alleluia, Glory be to God!
And to all of us here, still able to witness, 

I whisper inside.


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