Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mothers and Dolls and Horses and Daughters / "Music is the best way to communicate"

Still thinking about my unbridled laughter mixed with tears in response to the video of the runaway horse, along with the one of the Tyrannosaurus Rex making a snow angel and making its uneven way through the snowy landscape and how those tears and that laughter relate to experiencing some peace in connection with my mother, who died in 1994.  If she were still alive, she would be 101 years old on April 30. Maybe not peace.  Maybe just losing my fear of the Tyrannosaurus Rex mother and meeting the gentle looking child that my mother was as she held her doll.

1.  My mother as a 4-year-old girl in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1920, holding a beloved doll.  My mother said that she always wanted to have children, from an early age.

2.  My mother as a young woman in the 1930s in Los Angeles.

3.  Me in our apartment in San Mateo, California, with my red horse, 21 months old, Easter Day.

4.  Me at 2 years old with my red horse.  My mother did not seem to like me and my sisters or my father, and I did not like dolls or ever picture myself being married.  When my mother brought me to a toy store and asked me to choose a doll, I angrily refused to choose a doll.  I remember that moment so clearly.  I wanted a boyfriend from a very early age but believed I would never have one because I was unloveable, that no one would ever want to marry me.

5.  The orange horse with the purple mane and red-violet bridle that I drew when I was 5 years old.

6.  My mother, my youngest sister, and me just before I turned 8 years old, when I was starting riding lessons at Rohn Stables, not far from where we lived in Redwood City, California.  I was not afraid of horses, but I was deeply afraid of my mother's anger.  When I saw the movie "Jurassic Park," around the time my mother died, the terrifying Tyrannosaurus Rex reminded me of my mother.  I could not imagine growing up and having children and being as unhappy and angry as my mother seemed to be.

I've probably posted all these photos before.  I am seeing them with new eyes.

"Music is the best way to communicate" (Toumani Diabate)


am said...

Colette -- Your thoughtful comment mysteriously disappeared soon after I read it. I had come back to my blog to reread it and respond to it, and now Blogger tells me that your comment doesn't exist or was deleted. It existed long enough to help me in the process of moving forward. Thank you.

am said...

Colette -- How very odd. Your comment does exist somewhere in cyberspace because I just read it again, but when I click on publish this is what Blogger tells me:

The comment doesn't exist or no longer exists.

It exists here:

I guess we will never really know what made our mothers so unhappy. I wonder how much time we all spend trying to figure that out? I'm struck by how advanced that horse drawing was for a five year old. She must have thought so too, because she saved it.

You've reminded me of all the things I made that my mother, an artist and writer, saved and gave to me as an adult. Thank you again for your healing observation.

beth coyote said...

What wonderful music. Thank you.


am said...

You're welcome, beth. A friend shared this music with me, and I wanted to share it, too. I was also moved by the sound his voice when he spoke about the music.

Tara said...

beautiful music. I don't recall seeing these photos before, unless you posted them before I became a reader of your blog. I think the horse drawing is miraculous -- especially coming from a 5 year old! You were an artist even back then.

Terrible and sad to grow up with an angry mother. It shapes everything. I just want to cuddle little Amanda and tell her what a sweet and loving girl she is. Parenting is not for everyone!

The photographs are wonderful.

am said...

Thank you, Tara.

Just now I'm remembering one of the last conversations I had with my mother when I visited with her and my father and my sisters and my toddler nephew for my father's 80th birthday, during her last year of life. With quiet weariness, when no one else was around, she said to me, "I'm so tired of being angry."