Meeting Friends at nautilus teachings

my fish friends
my fish friends

1973-The door bell is ringing.
“Go get that Sheri, maybe it’s those two girls I saw on the bicycles.”
I stand up and run to my room. Mom answers the door and sure enough two-sixth grade girls are there.
“Come on Sheri I want you to meet Hannah and Pam.”
My mom nudges me and I peek from behind her back and say meekly, “hi.”
They both cry out together, “HI! Wanna go for a bike ride?”
I shake my head no and my mom grabs my arm and pushes me towards them, “Sure she does,” says my mom.
I don’t want to do this
I don’t want to go
Outside with these girls
Because my colors
Won’t show
They won’t see
The fishes
Or the mermaid inside
They will only laugh at me
I won’t go, I won’t try-
My mother nudges me
She gives me a wink
Smiles and says,
“Looks like the three musketeers, I think”
I hop on to my bike
And we begin to ride
Two smiling new friends?
I guess I can try!
My mother knew when to push
She knew when to hold
I just wish I could be like
And not seem so cold
It’s not that I am,
I’m just super shy
And afraid of life
And no one knows why
For I let nobody inside of my head
I tuck memories away
So my soul can be fed
Today is my day
My mommy said so
So I’ll just let these two lead me
Along life’s lonely road…
Hannah and Pam become two of my friends instantly. Pam becomes my best friend. We are inseparable and I have found a connection just like my childhood friend Brigid. Together Pam and I create one whole being as we smile and laugh our way through each day. Pam has troubles of her own. Her mother, an alcoholic at night and on weekends is a weight upon Pam. I become her buoy. Her safe place and harbor for her to have shelter from the continual typhoon waging war within the wall of the home and her mother’s soul. For the first time in my little life I not only feel needed, I feel strength coursing through my tiny veins and I feel alive.
2010-Jimmy Buffett sings a song about Orion’s lucky star. My mother was my Orion. She knew when to push, when to hug, when to scold and always to love.
The colors are soft pastels in baby blue, creamy white leading to soft turquoise and carolina blue. The strokes are rapid and present a sense of urgency, of a squall. I place upon the rolling waters a sailboat with myself at the wheel. On the back is painted the name Orion. My hair is flung back from the wind and I am gazing towards the horizon. My mother was my compass. She pushed me towards the unknown-new friends, new life and growing up. However, before I had a chance to become a woman, God took her and I lost all focus. Today, I am painting the memory of her first nudge. She was telling me that day, so long ago that it was o.k. to color outside of life’s lines, yet

“in the midst of my listening
I heard
and danced
to the wrong song…”

orion and me


This painting hangs next to my bed, so each day my mother is my first and last thought.
Orion-my lucky star.