My mother died on my birthday and in the weeks between Mother’s Day (the last time I saw her) and my birthday, she comes back to haunt me in the form of the Trickster. Things disappear; attention is diverted, plans thwarted. I trip over my own sense of reality and fall into a place beyond boundaries. My mother’s been dead for over twenty years so I’ve gotten used to this yearly disruption. I’m apprehensive but I look forward to it in a strange way.
My mother was very orderly and proper. There was no sign of the anarchist in her personality. But perhaps we never really know someone, no matter how much we think we do. Do we even know ourselves? The influence of a mother never ends. A bad influence can turn out good so don’t despair—I’ve seen it happen. A good influence (like my own) can expand to cosmic proportions. My mother has structured a season of mischief, but I never know what that mischief will consist of.
I live in a world of Uncertainty and Possibility. For this reason, I was never good at multiple choice, or true/false tests as a kid. Anything is possible in my world. There were times I thought I knew what the teacher wanted, but it seemed so dreary, so limited, so uninspiring. Give me an essay test (but don’t count off for misspelling) and I will soar. I think my mother checks in to remind me to get it together, that some control is necessary. One can’t take flight if they forget their wings. She reminds me of what real chaos is like.
Already clothes slide off their hooks and get lost in corners, hangers tangle, my bookmark slips out of place, and the good knife has run off with the teaspoons. Essential ingredients disappear and reappear after the dish has been improvised. I dodge phone trolls and there’s a glitch in our Netflix that causes it to flash onto a vintage Osmond concert just as the fiendish murderer is about to be revealed. Reality wavers.
Of course, these are little things that happen to everyone occasionally. But in these few weeks, they will come relentlessly for me. I hunker down and prepare to be embarrassed, frustrated, entertained and enlightened.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Oh, did I miss it?