My Mother’s Hands

 

It is hard for me to write about my mother. She shut me out of her private life and had little use for a daughter whose birth trapped her in a marriage she might not have chosen otherwise.

 

I learned who she was through images. My mother began her artistic career as a painter who left crows and black beetles in the lower left side of her paintings – always something dark.

 

Sphinx-like she lived a life of silence and yet she revealed who she was through her art exploring different mediums.

 

I always wondered why she didn’t continue to paint.

 

When I was about 45 she began to work with clay. I remember an exquisitely crafted sculpture of a tree with a black hole at its center. That image haunted me for years. Another sculpture terrorized me – a cracked moss green egg birthing a sneering crocodile.

 

The seer intuited what might be ahead…

 

Today, years after my mother’s death I reflect upon her artistic genius and realize she lived her life in liminal space, staying whole and true to who she was through the images she created with such precision, skill, and grace.

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