MY MOTHER’S FACE
The way that age pours down my mother's face when she is sad reminds me that grief runs through my blood. Generation after generation has been transfused with anxious woe. Heartbreak vexes minds full of fear. There is no easy way to round the bend on sharp pointed issues; the route is circuitous. I battle the chaotic thinking to fight my way back to a place where my mother’s eyes sparkle as they squint closed with her smile. The war of peace is not easily won by contemporaries. We must close ranks between the ages to keep the joy from sheeting off our skin and keep the sadness in proportion. Restore us to our possible bliss; we can overtake ecstasy from there.
Build ladders for the boxes that confine you.
Right now, as I think of sponsorship,
I think of all the things I have done wrong.
Times when I was not understanding enough
and times when I was too understanding and enabling.
Sponsors I chose for ulterior motives
and the ones I didn't challenge when they wandered away.
I search my mind for the ingredients
that were in the mix when things went well
and the dominant component was willingness, mine and theirs.
Whether I was sponsor or sponsee,
willingness overrode ability, determination and love.
We had to come to the table willing,
this was never something we were able to cook up or construct.
Nor is it something I can always hold onto,
sometimes willingness evaporates
or slips away like sand in a clenched fist.
The permanence and impermanence
of sponsorship awes and frightens me.
Like a guidewire twisted from many strands
none of which reaches from end to end
I worry about the unraveling but depend on the strength.
You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault