One year ago today my beloved mother suffered a massive stroke. We brought her home to Paloma Ave, just a block from the Pacific Ocean, where she drew her last breath one week later. As I stayed close by her those last few days, I browsed among all her marvelous writings and came across a poem she had written that I want to share with you now:
When I AM asked
A poem by Jane Winslow Eliot
When I am asked: “How are you?”
“Good,” I answer.
But in a crowd, I am scattered.
In a pinch, I can be counted on.
For a friend, I am there.
By myself, I am unencumbered.
At the Beach, I am spread out as far as the eye can see,
Then the entire Pacific Ocean spreads out before me,
Or behind me,
Depending on which way I look.
Like the sands, I scatter,
Like the winds, I waffle,
Like the whales, I travel,
As the seagulls, I care.
I am quiet or stormy depending on the day,
I dip and rise, with the fullness of a wave, large or small,
I sway left and right to the voice of water caressing sand.
When I write, I make a cross.
The cross of Space with Time.
Of memories with places.
When I dream I make a soap bubble filled with people I love.
Sometimes I am just My Self.
What is that?
June 27, 2007