Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Heimliching my Mother

"When you look back on your life, it looks as though it were a plot, but when you are into it, it's a mess: just one surprise after another. Then, later, you see it was perfect."
Schopenhauer


Visiting Mom
I once heimliched my mom around a living room. My kids hid behind the couch, afraid to come out. A big chunk of burrito flew across the room. I still remember the arc it took. As a family we don’t talk about it much, though she did seem grateful about.

Things just are in my family. Things just are the way they are, no cause, no effect. Things are presented to us and we choose to react or hide, depending on the circumstances. Our choices in life come after the fact- it’s what we do with stuff after it shows up that defines us. Thinking about stuff is what we do all day while waiting for life to show up and give us something to react to. It’s just all one big line we stand in, waiting for the show.

My mom came down to visit and brought Mexican food for us. We sat in the living room, around the big screen TV, and talked. The kids told tales of how their lives were working out. I smiled and nodded my head a lot. We were waiting for the show.

Bug eyed and reaching with both hands to get IT out, my mom looked surprised, and a bit embarrassed. She looked both ways- left and right, and tried to speak. 'Gack, gack,' she said. Showtime, at last, I no longer thought.

She stood, I stood. I wrapped my arms around her waist and jerked her up. One time, two time, -- ack and blow time. The burrito flew; the show was over.

Well, that was sure something, we both thought. The kids peered over the couch they were hiding behind wondering if the show had ended. I think it was like watching Texas chainsaw massacre; they had to close their eyes at the really scary part. We all giggled about how we weren’t hungry anymore, cleaned up and mom went on her way down the road. Just another slice of near death, and back in line for the real work of waiting for the next show time.

Reflections and ruminations of reflections are what we do as a family. Like a second brain, we grind up thoughts and polish reflections until we can eat off them. It’s our great gift, and what we do while standing in line.







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