Looking On

This is the first Thanksgiving without my mom and, even though she wasn’t well enough to celebrate traditionally last year, she could still offer stuffing nut to berry ratio advice and Black Friday shopping strategies. She could still wear her full length fur coat she was so proud of, even if she only wore it from her room to my door.

Now it hangs on the back of my closet, and what’s left of her belongings crowd my garage.

In my studies, I’ve learned a little about Jung’s alchemical psychological analysis and what our “big dreams” can tell us about our subconscious. In short, there are archetypal symbols that have universal meaning in everyone’s dreams. If we pay attention to what these symbols mean, we can figure out what’s bothering us or possibly find a path to happiness.

To be honest, I thought all of “that business” was an antiquated, pre-neuroscience way of psychoanalysis. I thought dreams were a combination of bad movies and spicy late night dinners firing random neurons while I slept. And then I had a “Big Dream.”

Turns out I was wrong. Go figure. I’m sure there are regular dreams attached to too much guacamole in my Chipotle burrito or one too many episodes of SVU, but there are also dreams that can show us what’s important. These dreams are usually in color.

Below is a poem I’ve been working on that wrestles with my own Night Sea Journey. I hope you like it.

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Alchemical Reflections

I hung my mother’s mirror today,
The round one she had on the wall where her stairs turned.
The gold paint has begun to chip away,
But the crimson rim is strong
And deep.
And the wood is dark underneath.

It hangs by a wire twisted on a nail anchored into a wood beam.
Strong bones behind the plaster and paint.

The glass is clear,
No clouds marring my face.
Or poisoning the view.

I can see the kitchen in its reflection,
when I stand just right.
The wood cabinets closed and the stove cold.
Her lipstick on the counter.

I took down my mother’s mirror today,
The round one she had on the wall where her stairs turned.
The gold paint shines,
But the crimson bleeds black.
And the wood is dark underneath.

The wall is yellow,
dark spots marring the paint.
And poisoning the view.

I can see the holes it left in the plaster
when I stand just right.
And the fire from the kitchen stove warms the house.
Her lipstick twisting in my hands.

It is crimson.

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hold your loved ones close and catch every memory you can as they fly by. You never know when one might show up in your own Night Sea Technicolor Journey.

Author:

Teacher of humanities, student of mythology, writer of words, and mother of two polar opposite teens.

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