Eternity is in love with the productions of time. William Blake


“Running to Stand Still”

“And so she woke up

From where she was lying still

Said we got to do something about where we’re going

Step on a steam train

Step out of the driving rain

Maybe run from the darkness in the night

Singing halalala de day

Singing halalala de day

Sweet the sin

But bitter the taste in my mouth

I see seven towers

But I only see one way out

You go to cry without weeping

Talk without speaking

Scream without raising your voice, you know

I took the poison, from the poison stream,

Then I floated out of  here

Singing halalala de day

Singing halalala de day

She runs through the streets

With her eyes painted red

Under black belly of cloud in the rain

In through a doorway she brings me

White gold and pearls stolen from the sea

She is raging

She is raging and the storm blows up in her eyes

She will suffer the needle chill

She is running to stand still . . .”

U2, from The Joshua Tree album

I called my mom today and she sounded really sick.  I am scared.  I want to drop everything and go and be with her.  Her mortality is too near at times like this.

–I feel better now.  Krissy [stepmom] said it would be all right if I went down for the day.  I know I can’t really do anything to make her feel better, but I need to be around her.  Life gets kind of scary sometimes.


She is much sicker than she wants to admit, and I am worried.  Perhaps I was playing God, but I am glad Molly did not come down today.  I, myself, have had to fight back  the tears many times today.  She has been sick since Saturday and has not eaten.  She looks emaciated–her stomach looks bloated–and I could probably carry her if I wanted to, she is so thin.  I called her doctor, but she is out on lunch break until 1:30.  So, when I get back (I am having a bagel at Bruegger’s right now) I should be able to call again.  If she won’t eat, she most likely needs an IV.  She won’t like that, but I don’t care.  I need to take care of her.

My reality is very acute right now.  It is as if I am totally conscious of everything, and at the same time, not at all.


This is a funny thought, but, healing yourself seems like trying to get from one place to another.  Just like a car can only go down a one way street  one way, but a person on foot can go either, maybe healing is like that.  Maybe everything is like that.  So, if I don’t like the bus, or if it doesn’t go exactly where I want, do I just get off and walk?

I feel like I’m in some movie, sitting here in Cambridge in a bagel shop by the window, writing in my book.  It’s the 1st day of winter, the Winter Solstice, but it’s 50 degrees out.  It is beautiful.  I was going to drive down the street, but it was so gorgeous I had to walk.

The sun is warm on my back.  I remember once, when Mom lived with Rhonda, sitting by the window with the black cat sleeping in my lap, warm from the sunshine and listening to music.  Strange how I remember such a small thing.  I miss Gipper [our daschsund].  He was the best dog.  He always slept at our feet inside our sleeping bags.  What a goof.

Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet

“Long were the days of pain I have spent with its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?

Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache.

It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands. 

Nor is it a thought I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.

Yet I cannot tarry longer.

The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark.”


It is three days before Christmas, yet it is not near at all.  I am empty; I am full.  Denial is my momentary specialty, yet my mother’s mortality is also quite near to me.  Duality rules my life.

Postscript, 7/15/11

My mother died of colon cancer on August 25, 1996 when I was 19 years old, and my sister Molly was 15.  This journal entry is from when I was 17, when it became clear that her cancer had taken a serious turn for the worse, although she wouldn’t die for another year and half.  That Winter Solstice, after finally speaking with her doctor, I had to take her against her will to the hospital, where she eventually consented to surgery so that she wouldn’t die from her colon exploding in her body.  Although I was quite angry with my mother at the time for resisting help–and I can still access that feeling of rage and helplessness  on my part–I now possess another, more transpersonal perspective.  I believe my mother carried the pain of her fragmented childhood in her pelvis, her abdomen.  I believe that at the time I intervened she probably wanted to die, to end the suffering she had carried for so long.  There isn’t any black and white–I don’t see myself as wrong for my interventions and my wanting her to survive–and at the same time I now have a deeper compassion for her experience, as well.

Comments on: "Suncatcher, December 20-22, 1994" (1)

  1. Beautiful.

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