"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass

Friday, May 3, 2013

And I Believed Her {A Listen to Your Mother Tribute}

me and my mama on my wedding day

I would stand in front of our
living room picture window, posed,
waiting for the record player's slow scraping to speed until music spilled out

filling the room and my fibers
as I danced and sang
into my hairbrush.

I felt so free. So alive.
Spinning, lungs burning
with oxygen, with words
tumbling out of my soul.

As the record slowed
I collapsed into a puddle
of five year limbs.

It was then that I saw her
standing in the doorway
wearing that look that puzzled me as a child...

She seemed to be looking at me, a thin lopsided smile on her face,
but also past me with her misted eyes to something in the future...
the mystic mama look she wore when she spoke of how fast I was growing.

I lay on my back looking up at her,
chest heaving to catch up
with my racing heart

She left the doorway
and scooped me into her lap
as she brushed a piece of moist hair back off my forehead she said,

"You have a beautiful voice."

And I believed her.

That's the power of Mamas.
They are right about so many things,
it's hard as a child to dispute them being right about you, too.

So I grew up believing that my voice had value.
That I could make the whole world stop and watch with a twirl and stanza into my hairbrush.
I carried my mama's words with me.

With time and a few knocks,
that mama voice gets clouded a bit -
uncertainty cracking the confidence in her being right.

But 24 years later found us standing alone in a library
facing each other woman to woman now
but she still reached to settle a strand of misplaced hair as she said,

"You have a beautiful voice."

And I believed her.

I walked across the library floor,
opened the door and smiled at two strangers
and witnessed the world stop again for five minutes with my words.

On Sunday,
she and I will be taking the trip

I've downloaded the very songs
that spun with my 5 year self
on that old record player

and I will stand before an audience
breathing deeply to steady that once more rapidly beating heart
repeating her words again and again in my head...

"You have a beautiful voice."

And I'll believe her.

After all,
you should always

*tickets are still available for Milwaukee's show Sunday May 5th, 3:00pm at Wehr Hall on Alverno college campus.  You can purchase them on-line HERE, or cash only at the door.*