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Sunday, May 13, 2007

mother

Gill,October1986

As I grow older I can see her in my movements, my hands and my restlessness.

My mother is always moving. She has to be doing something and staying stimulated. She enjoys change, adventure and anything that pleases the senses.

I owe a lot of who I am to her. At a young age my mother took me travelling, dragged me through museums, had me taste mussels and learn to prepare artichokes. She put me in French immersion and had me learn French. She packed up our family and moved to France for a year, where my love affair with the culture first began.

Without her I wouldn't know Virginia Woolf from Hemmingway. I wouldn't know what it was to see live in theatre in London or eat creme brulee in Paris. I wouldn't know how to appreciate a good stinky blue Roquefort cheese. Without her I might even think that it was inappropriate to dance on restaurant tables and howl along to country music, but she taught me otherwise.

My mother taught me to save money where you can so that you can enjoy life's greater pleasures. To stay in a hostel instead of a hotel and go out for an expensive dinner. She taught me that shopping sprees aren't worth it, but splurging on expensive underwear and shoes is.

I want to thank her for teaching me that I don't have to be good, to be the best, or to act like everyone else. She brought me up with care but gave me room to grow and be myself. Over the years she's become my best friend as much as my mother.

Happy Mother's Day mom, I love you.

beautiful mother

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

6 Comments:

Blogger Julia said...

Brilliant.

Beautiful poem. Beautiful tribute to an amazing woman.

4:30 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

I love that photo of you as a teeny baby and your mom's kiss on your cheek says it all.
Great poem too!
Jenn in NJ

6:35 PM  
Blogger Mad William said...

Gillian,

Love your site.
You have been tagged for a "Thinking Blog Award.

6:57 PM  
Blogger The Late Bloomer said...

I have no words to express how beautiful this tribute is, such wonderful words for your mother.

And an incredible poem... It takes my breath away. I'm going to have to hold onto that one.

8:00 AM  
Blogger tatiana said...

What a beautiful post. I love it. Great poem, too....

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Yeah, that's her.

11:11 PM  

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