To Be Disconnected
How is it we are both connected and disconnected all at once? The awareness of how they interweave has always consumed my work, but now it infiltrates my life as well. Walking in the streets of England feels both familiar and foreign. I cling to the change, escaping into the adventure from the thoughts that have consumed me up until now, hoping they subside just for a brief time. It is a time to focus, not on what was lost, but rather what will become my new normal. I am so used to calling and writing to her each experience, every place I visit. I remembered the letters of my year abroad which became a daily journal, not written on a computer, but by hand, on thin blue tissue air mail paper. I poured out to her the endless stream of words, opening up every inner thought of my year of evolution. Ever since, whether through text or calls, I had an ear of someone who was genuinely interested in every site, every meal, every story. Without her to listen, what holds the memory for me? A disconnected moment, a break in the routine. I know that the space will fill in with someone, with the family that is here, but there a bond between a mother and daughter uniquely merged in connection which is no longer present. I am not a daughter role, no longer the child of a mother. Even as an adult, the loss makes me regress into the child I wish I still was. I continue to hold onto the hands that are both like mine, familiar in look and feel, but without the point of touch, foreign and unrecognizable. I comb through the images from after the stroke, of her hand that was no longer hers, unrecognizable but yet familiar. It had become her mother’s. How did her brain compensate for the loss, knowing the comfort of a mother was what was necessary for her survival. I return home to the empty house, echoing the empty feeling of return, and the silence of calls not made.