14 September, 2007


My mother sometimes sat amongst the willow trees, waiting for hours to catch a glimpse of the platypus that lived in the river. More than once, she lost her footing and ended up in the water. My cousin Nicholas teased her about falling in, so she teased him about having red hair and freckles.

My mother loved owls and dutch irises, painting and horse-riding. She unashamedly adored Pachelbel's Canon and "Land of Hope and Glory". She would fondly admire the mold that grew on old cheese in the fridge, and delighted in the rare occasions when Gang-Gang cockatoos would stay awhile in nearby hawthorn bushes.
Once, she led my whole family on a long traipse across a densely forested mountain, searching for a Nargun.

My mother became fiercely enraged during arguments about Aboriginal health-care and the movie Dead Poets Society. She fought like a Trojan to get the best opportunities for my disabled brother, and literally wept with shame when he acted up and got in trouble.

My mother taught me about micro-organisms and being nice to people. She got furious about people who didn't immunise their children, and she told me to read The Old Man and the Sea. From her, I learned what big words mean and how the natural machines of the world operate. If you tell me something that contradicts anything my mother taught me, I don't care how much evidence you provide, I probably will not believe you.

My mother's father died after a long illness, when she was not yet a teenager. She once told me that she had trouble remembering him as anything other than ill and frail. This was something that made her very unhappy, and she was determined not to be remembered in such a way.

My mother died just after midnight, three years ago today.

And everything with wings is restless, aimless, drunk and dour;
Butterflies and birds collide at hot, ungodly hours.
My clay-colored motherlessness rangily reclines

Come on home, now! All my bones are dolorous with vines.



Blogger Tom said...

Thinking of you Munkey...

September 14, 2007 6:19 pm  
Blogger JahTeh said...

That's a beautiful photograph.

September 14, 2007 7:59 pm  
Anonymous Hooch said...

This post is so beautiful Munkey. I'm snivelling and blinking tears as I type. Your mother was beautiful, too, as, I'm sure, you will always remember her.

September 16, 2007 11:08 pm  
Blogger Kezza said...

That has to be one of the most incredible insights into another persons emotions I think I've ever seen. Truly beautiful to behold.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. I can't imagine what you're going through right now, but know you are in my thoughts.

September 19, 2007 10:20 am  
Blogger mindlessmunkey said...

Thanks everyone.

September 20, 2007 7:56 am  
Blogger Jellyfish said...

"If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn't realize that love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign ... to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin."

October 04, 2007 7:24 pm  
Anonymous ThirdCat said...

new to your blog...and this is a bit out of time. But this is a beautiful post. I hope that one day my boys think of me this way (and I hope that day is a long way away).

November 14, 2007 10:43 am  
Blogger Ariel said...

That is a beautiful post and an absolutely gorgeous photograph. It captures just how I feel about my boy. And I echo what ThirdCat said.

November 21, 2007 9:03 am  

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