my mother my life at nautilus teachings

my story in words
my story in words

1960‘s-On the side of the grey, wooden, two story house there are beautiful lilac bushes with lavender and white flowers that dance in the wind. The blooms in the spring time cast off an intoxicating fragrance which float in through the windows of the house and circle the round baby blue living room and run back across the bed where I lay sleeping with my Raggedy Ann and Andy who are always tucked very close to me.
There is a long white dresser with a big mirror. It has little glass flowers on the corners of the mirror. My mom uses this mirror every day to look into while she gets dressed or puts on her makeup.
The drawers are filled with every color imaginable. The heavy drawers are like my black lines which hold the colors safely until released upon my mother’s soft, warm body.
I love watching her dress and am always on my bed behind her smiling while she does her getting ready for the day tasks. Her daily dressings are like standing above the waterfall at Bishops Park across the street. Her movement is fast and color splashes everywhere as she quickly steps into the closest piece of clothing in the drawer. There is no thinking about outfits, just grab and go like splattering paint across a gorgeous white sparkling canvas.
White canvases
are like white walls
one of the greatest
for an Artist
The starkness
of the cold white
“paint me.”
My mothers body
is like pieces of my life
Her hair soft and scented
Like the lilacs
Her voice sweet and melodic
Like the lilly of the valley bells
She wears lavender and valentine pink,
turquoise and kiwi
is a masterpiece
Before her time.
Her Saturday dressings are much more meticulous and slow. They resemble a lazy river lined with yellow daffodils and golden sunflowers, fragrant and bobbing in the cool, minty breeze. She rubs on silky lotion and lavender lilac scented perfume.
On her short, firm legs she wears translucent black stockings with a silken garter belt and beautiful panties. She wears her best glistening jewelry (from Avon no doubt!) and paints her eyes with soft, long strokes of eggshell blue.
This blue
with her painted
jet black lashes
reminds me
of the baby
Robin’s eggs
we find cracked
on the driveway
from the wooly russet
colored squirrels.
My mom is quiet on Saturdays after her pink bubble bath while she leisurely prepares for her date with my dad. She appears lost in a dream and so very happy. She is the kind of happy I feel after climbing out of the chilly summer waters of the liquid turquoise blue pool and sizzling my shivering body on the smoking, hot cement to chase away the goose bumps.
Their Saturday dates skip like a scratched record across my mind. My dad is her knight in shining armor and she is the damsel in distress he is rescuing from the demons who are growing up the red wooden stairs.

mom and me 1976
mom and me 1976

Over and over
It plays in my head
Skipping all around
Their living room bed
Sleeping silently
Awaiting their return
I am alone
I do not hear
The creeping feet
Or the giggles exchanged
I hear only
my heart beat
Over and over
It plays in my head
Skipping all around
The living room bed
I am alone
My parents are not home…
My parents’ bed is the sofa. The sofa is in the front room of our house and overlooks Bishops Park. Their dresser and closet are in my room. This is my salvation and allows my palette to unfold in mysterious and brilliant colors and characters which become my healing world. Their love for me is the brown, bristled brush I hold in my tiny hands. Their clothes are my palette and my mother’s smile my canvas.
2007-Studio-My mother was a survivor. She was so many dreams, colors and talents rolled into one. Differing from other women in unique ways besides her physical being, my mother was first and foremost a woman and shared a bond with so many throughout her life. People looked up to her, they asked her for advice, they would knock on our door and say, “Vivi, got time for a cup of coffee?” My mother never turned people away. She gave all and everything she had to all who needed.