eroding into beauty

With the death of my Mom, my anxiety found new life. Like any parasite from a host, it crept into my veins and fed off my sanity, growing in strength while I grew in weakness.

Memories from this time flash all too slowly, too stubbornly, before my eyes. I remember the endless car ride back to her hospital in Chicago, racing against the clock of her pulse. Trapped in the suffocating space of my own mobile powerlessness, I physically felt death in my own body: heart racing, shortness of breath, uncontrollable fits of weeping, tremors that rocked my very foundation. I remember my terrorized eyes, next to my Mom’s closed eyes, near my sister’s side, looking up at my Mom’s kind doctor, asking for drugs to calm me down; anxiety now made me her only living patient in that room. I remember the feel of the bed that night, of the fuzzy blankets that to this day envelope me in the presence of my Mom, and the numb release those drugs brought me for a few hours of sleep…of denial. I remember months later, talking about these moments of anxiety along with the endless trail of ugly ducklings that ensue, my therapist’s words:

What if you imagined your body, your life, as an object, which like any other object, will inherently decay with time?

His question was designed to assuage the irrational fears that ate away at my sanity: I have cancer. I am riddled with tumors. I’m having a stroke. I have an aneurysm. I am dying.

I thought about the power of erosion as I lingered on the edge of the vast and majestic and overwhelming and wondrous and complex and gorgeous Grand Canyon. Layers of ocher shade into ebonies blur into grays cut against the hazy blue dome above. Horizontal lines on some ridges play tic tac toe with vertical striations on other towers. Ivory artery paths cut across plateaus and dip diagonally down canyon sides. And then the origin of this glory, the Colorado River: a mud-green snake, wide as a football field and a mile beneath, slithered in and out of sight, arching its back in white caps and bending around all red-rock obstacles.

Here is beauty. Here is destruction. There cannot be one without the other.

I cannot see this glory were there not the horror. I cannot be this wonder were there not the eroding.

Millions of years, billions of raindrop-tears rolling down the sides of the River’s face. Tons of rocks, sons and daughters of crumbling grief racing into the Abyss. Echoes of raging winds, let-gos and let-downs dancing into Destruction. Gravity carving without levity, cravings eroding into the Center.

Here is beauty. Here is destruction. There cannot be one without the other.

What if you imagined your body, your life, as an object, which like any other object, will inherently decay with time?

My Mom’s hands were like the Grand Canyon. Speckled russet from the sun. Gorged from the work ethic of West Virginia hills. Gnarled from the pain of so many Midwestern storms. Weathered from the weight of so many unmet norms. Twisted on themselves from the giver’s turning. Rooted in so many defeats and repeats and remembers and benders and whatevers and winners. One gold band, a circled audience, standing witness.

I miss those hands.

What if you imagined your body, your life, as an object, which like any other object, will inherently decay with time?

Here is beauty. Here is destruction. There cannot be one without the other.

image1.JPG

 

138 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Halyma
    Mar 27, 2016 @ 12:47:13

    Wow. And thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  2. paulcarlos
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 10:17:19

    Sadness and beauty endlessly twist into each other, spiralling. Each with the others seed at it’s heart. Stunning post!

    Liked by 6 people

    Reply

  3. Mary
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 10:21:43

    Aditya, it is about the amount of follows you have: here as well as other social sites (Twitter, FB), etc…good luck!

    Like

    Reply

  4. manasshome
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 10:53:28

    Very well written, and from experience. I just am trying to come to terms as my mother expired (with endless rides to the hospital) very recently – two weeks back – all while my father lays in coma after two brain surgeries without knowing about his better half’s fate. It was disheartening to see her pulse and heartbeat slowly counting down on the monitor as she laid on the hospital bed, waiting for her death to come; her eyes being taped by the nurse to avoid bulging out.

    Liked by 6 people

    Reply

  5. Renee
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 10:57:15

    Beautiful

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  6. PaulineMary
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:02:52

    So beautifully written with raw emotion

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  7. daddysgirl272
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:07:53

    Beautiful painful and colourful all combined in one

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  8. Sparkle
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:08:49

    Wow it is.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  9. bumblestitches
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:16:08

    Personal experience and true emotion are definitely the carving tools for a moving piece. This was very engaging and touching. I wish you well.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  10. julleberry
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:35:25

    Wow. This is some beautiful play with words and imagery. I am in love with your style. Hell i’d love the grand canyon just from this intimate description

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  11. robynne black
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:37:13

    Beautiful!!! My mother has those kind of hands and I do too, and I love the way you’ve painted a portrait of them.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  12. karamassoletti
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:44:48

    Lovely composition I liked how artistically written it is almost poetic.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  13. Christine Viera
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:44:54

    Beautiful words on a hard experience. Thanks for sharing Mary.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  14. tothosewhohaveears
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 13:59:49

    Beautifully written! I love how descriptive you were in your writing, it made me feel like I was present with you in your mother’s hospital room. Thank you for sharing this part of your heart with us all and being vulnerable.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  15. beingarellanes
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 14:41:54

    I didn’t want to read this article after the first thought – I recently moved far away from my mother and I’m unable to cope as is – let alone think about her death. But I stormed through the post with determination because I knew it would be special. I was right.
    “racing against the clock of her pulse” – Beautiful and crushing.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 6 people

    Reply

    • Mary
      Mar 29, 2016 @ 17:23:59

      Distance can also sweeten family relationships–at least this was true for my Mom and I. I hope you find in your relationship whatever you both need. Thank you for this gift…this comment.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply

  16. rantsofarampantmind
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 15:09:12

    We raise our glasses in honour of those who have left us, and in hope that those affected will find solace… eventually.
    A great piece of work.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  17. akinleyedamilola
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 15:45:51

    #sorry for your loss#… But remember she’s in a peaceful place where there are no hospital walls, disinfectant smell…you may be grieving, but trust me I believe she’s smiling down at you…..#be happy#

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  18. emmasharon
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 15:54:08

    Absolutely true, we cannot know real joy without terrible pain. We cannot choose what we feel, only whether we feel deeply or very little. I think you have chosen to live deeply, and I’m thankful for that. Beautiful images and descriptions, a very vivid telling of pain and heartache and beauty and horror and glory. Thanks for writing.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  19. Gistering
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 16:11:51

    Well written, it’s true.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  20. 2020naykrip
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 16:21:42

    This is beautifully written. Looking through the comments, you must have heard this many times. The reason you keep hearing this is because it is true. It seems as if you have poured out your greatest emotion and reached into the furthest part of your mind to share with us this experience. As I read this, my heart felt before my mind could think. I was able to feel the love you had for your mother the same way I love my own. Your descriptions were very vivid and your metaphorical devices were excellently placed. I would like you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. I’ve recently started my own blog ( poeticeloquence.wordpress.com ) where me and my friend pour words onto a page as amateur writers trying to improve our writing. I’ve recently written our blog’s first poem, entitled “The River” which reminds me of the love and heartfelt emotion in this piece. Our blog lives off feedback, and it would really mean a lot if someone like you who is established and great at writing could give us some advice, suggestions, or comments. Once again, thank you for sharing this beautiful piece. I wish you good luck on all of your future writing endeavors. Keep on writing.

    Liked by 6 people

    Reply

  21. bellabythebluffs
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 16:44:09

    Your writing is beautiful. Thank you for sharing that gift with us Mary. I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  22. callmecailey
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 17:02:44

    This is so beautifully written! I’m in awe.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  23. jfaoe
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 17:34:45

    I wrote a poem on nature’s beauty recently mentioning the hand and how it reflects God’s soul. I wish you the best. Thank you for your writing.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  24. lifematters822
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 18:01:01

    Beautiful tribute to your mother. Dealing with the loss of a parent is one experience I am bracing for, hoping it is not too soon,and have no idea how I will cope when it happens.That is why I am here reading for inspiration. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  25. iamjirah
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 20:38:21

    Such art in its most painful yet finest form. Death has always been lurking around its prey. You’re such a brave lass! Thank you for writing this.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  26. swagatikapatra
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 00:15:12

    Awesome….written…..The way you expressed your feelings is quite touchy….Done a good job..!!!

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  27. lethalbeauty
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 01:32:09

    This is the first blog post I’ve read.
    Absolutely stunning, like others have said the raw emotion made for a beautiful post, best of luck on future posts.
    Clearly a phenomenal writer.

    Liked by 6 people

    Reply

  28. Maven of Aging
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 06:29:16

    This moving description of you dealing with your mother’s death spoke to me as well, especially the image of her hands. As I am now growing into my elder years, I sometimes look at my own hands, which are becoming gnarled, brown-spotted and wrinkled. At first, it made me sad, but then I remembered my mother’s hands and how they looked as she grew old (with a grace that I hope to emulate). Somehow that comforted me. I wish you comfort and peace.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  29. ADK Akshay Kedia
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 07:04:37

    It’s something about you, that you attend every comment. I’m inspired by it!
    The writing is beautiful indeed and the title is way too catchy! Felt like exploring the moment I read it

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  30. NothingImportant2Say
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 08:22:44

    An amazing piece of deep human emotion interlaced with irony and your own description of the link between pain and joy. Thank you for sharing this. I just started a blog this past weekend and am trying to learn from other posts. However, I never expected this.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  31. alluringworldblog
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 08:30:42

    beautifully written! you truly inspire me!

    Liked by 6 people

    Reply

  32. Casual Jack
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 09:18:48

    I’m so sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  33. diyloverhere
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 11:17:30

    Nice pic

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  34. julianlsouth
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 21:16:08

    Such a satisfying read (I know that sounds calls but I don’t mean it that way). You’ve put into words the sense of intimacy one feels only towards those we have shared most or all of our lives with. You also clearly express the emotional mind’s turmoil (and search for answers, which brings so much Life into our life) as it seeks to come to terms with huge loss. Thanks so much for courageously sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  35. bri
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 21:43:21

    Beautifully written! You have a knack for painting poetic descriptions into prose.

    Liked by 6 people

    Reply

  36. lishabroyles
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 21:56:46

    Beautiful and amazing!

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  37. teeneboppercriticpg3369
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 00:06:04

    Sad and amazing! Awesomely written. Like everyone else is saying it’s true. My mom is amazing. I’m sorry for your loss

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  38. sanjhiverma
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 00:29:22

    Heartfelt…yet mesmerising… !! Your words strike a chord!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  39. cogitabit
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 01:57:28

    Thank you for sharing this vulnerable story. This brings encouragement to otters and bring out the autencity in people.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  40. Trackback: eroding into beauty – Holton's Horror
  41. Wangoi
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 06:37:16

    Here’s beauty. Here’s destruction. There cannot be one without the other.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  42. Wangoi
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 06:37:49

    Reblogged this on Wangoi.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  43. simplerona
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 07:20:36

    Beautiful Writing and Inspiring Message also.
    It is play with words and imagery.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  44. simplerona
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 07:27:21

    Beautiful Writing and Inspiring Message also.
    It is play with words and imagery.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  45. kaveripoonacha
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 08:07:34

    So well written. I lost my mom to Cancer two and a half years back. I have all the emotions in me but not as good as you to play with words, as yet. Just started my blog with simple writing….wish I turn out to be as good someday and then might just be able to express the pain I went through with my mom. Thank you for sharing! Loved reading this

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  46. Stuart M. Perkins
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 12:09:31

    I agree, this was beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  47. sarahngima77
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 12:19:26

    The writing was amazing.The personification paints the image so well.I can see the grand canyon

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  48. Jacklyn Giampa
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 12:23:28

    I am at a complete loss for words, as you have embodied my own emotions in one short story. My mother, too, passed away about a year ago. Your words have influenced me to cry, yet see the strength in each tear drop. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  49. Kathy Snay
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 12:29:59

    Powerful. Great ending.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  50. anandpasi
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 22:17:14

    Every word is truth, I felt numb while reading this

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  51. mistyalliston
    Apr 01, 2016 @ 12:50:11

    This is beautiful! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  52. classicchicc
    Apr 01, 2016 @ 17:53:04

    Beautiful

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  53. Johnhuss etsobi
    Apr 02, 2016 @ 14:49:26

    creatively written. my heart bleeds for your loss, I am sorry.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  54. rabia noorstani
    Apr 02, 2016 @ 19:34:06

    God. This is so beautiful. I lost my father and the last gift I received from him was a crystal bracelet from the Grand Canyon. This brought on a lot of memories. Love it. Thank you and I wish you much love, peace and many blessings.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  55. loudintentionsblog
    Apr 03, 2016 @ 12:04:10

    My heart is heavy for your loss. This hits so close to home as last year I watched cancer my mother in law wither away, taking a piece of my husbands soul with her. Poetic beautiful piece! Bless you for sharing this.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  56. Angela Maree Barnett
    Apr 03, 2016 @ 23:14:21

    This reminds me of the term Brutiful (Glennon Melton-Doyle came up with that). It’s when things are so brutal they are beautiful too. Stunning piece of work, thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  57. martherainbow
    Apr 04, 2016 @ 02:28:39

    So beautifully written, I read it with tears burning in my eyes. You must have gone through a terrible time, but it’ll get better, because that’s how it works in life. Keep going & I’m looking forward to another post❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  58. Sadia T Sultana
    Apr 04, 2016 @ 10:29:57

    Oh wow! This is such a beautifully written piece! It rains back memories from when my Grandfather had passed away right in front of me.. i still remember that day as if it was yesterday. I pray that my Grandfather and your Mother and those related to us all: family, neighbours strangers whom have passed by us who have passed away are all in a better peaceful place.. and are in the highest rankings of Heaven. And one day we will reunite with them entering the gates of heaven. This piece has touched my heart.. its a very moving emotional post. I can’t wait to keep up with your future posts.. stay blessed beautiful

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  59. theclumsysmurfette
    Apr 05, 2016 @ 02:49:39

    When you write anything that’s directly from your heart,it directly touches the reader’s sentiments. Truly, you’ve made me realize that it’s better late than never. I should be more caring and kind towards my mother.
    My deepest condolences dear one!
    And thank you for being courageous to put this through and let others realize things they should’ve ages ago.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  60. Red
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 16:40:36

    This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  61. elie
    Apr 07, 2016 @ 03:08:40

    Beautifully said

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  62. wieckling
    Apr 12, 2016 @ 03:21:49

    I have been enjoying reading your posts – full of emotion, speaking from the heart. I’m only a beginner having only written 3. I’m writing them to deal with the grief of losing my 20 year old son Jacob. He passed away in Oct last year from a rare youth cancer Ewing’s Sarcoma after only a short 13 month battle. I have dedicated my blogging to Jacob. Thanks for sharing your stories.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  63. Kindness Blog
    Apr 12, 2016 @ 06:57:08

    Hey🙂

    We’d love to feature this on Kindness Blog and link back to you etc. Would that be okay?

    No problems if not though🙂

    Best, Mike.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  64. dkmcl2
    Apr 12, 2016 @ 14:18:27

    I was riveted! Thank you, Mary..Dave 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  65. thejourneyoflife253
    Apr 14, 2016 @ 11:52:58

    Absolutely beautiful writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  66. Lit-worm
    Apr 16, 2016 @ 10:24:45

    That was the most beautiful thing I have read this year.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  67. naturalbeauty2020
    Jul 18, 2016 @ 22:08:05

    The most beautiful thing I have read, and don’t forget to check out my blog

    Like

    Reply

  68. Trackback: the ghost of grief past | lifeinthedport

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