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Location: Midwest, United States

"Power lines, my travlin' partner on this ride. Dripping, pulling - up and down, in this sing song, their lullaby blends with the swaying train. I curl myself into this journey; folding myself up into this pocket of time. Old familiars greet me - that swing set in the back yard, the ruins of an old church covered in new birth and old - mixed with unremembered newness." Journal Entry, October 13, 2005~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~All words are copyrighted by GoGo on a Page/gogoroku.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: Earliest Memory Free Thought

I have been standing at this threshold of what to write since I first read our topic of this weeks Sunday Scribblings. I have a thousand memories swirling in my head. They are complete, partial, snap shots of a moment, silent films, audio snippets, and layered stories born from the mythos of family oration and childhood’s influence, yet at this moment not one inspires me to share.

The earliest memory, the one furthest down the trail of this life I have led escapes me, though I know tomorrow it will suddenly pop back into brain like it was always there living on the tip of my tongue. The earliest days of my life are sacred moments of a child new in the world and its understandings, and I find the adult me protective to even delve into them. I will say, that from the earliest moments onward, beams of light walking the floor of my house has always kept me company in my memories. The yard, the trees, and flowers are first reflections of who I am – I was born in summer and summer holds my strongest memories. Arms wrapped around me, siblings to share the interpretations of the world, and love both distant and close are there mixed in with the images in my head. Some places hold sadness, confusion, and the beginning of the misunderstanding between me and God these days. Some places hold the triumph and determination to be who I am now.

Then it happens, as I write a ramble of this topic, a earliest pops in the head to share:
My earliest memory of the moon and her comfort came when I was in the back seat of my Mother’s brown station wagon. She use to say that she’d never wash that car because it was the dirt that held it together. I remember the warm heat from the heater mixing in with the cold air from the cracked window as she and I drove in blackened night to go to the Emergency Room. I was born an asthmatic, born sick, and as the doctors told my Mother born to die young. Of course, years later, I could insert medical technology, medical myths dispelled, and self-conviction as the rationale for this not to be true. At the time though, I was going to the hospital because I was having a severe asthma attack.

I can’t say how young I was, age lost in the distance between then and now, I can say that I was scared and increasing my troubles with the panic of not being able to breathe. I remember the routine of those days. I would wake up choking on my limited breathes, struggling to grasp good clean air. My parents would immediately go into action - Dad would hold me and tell me it would be okay while my Mother started the shower. She would then take me from him and we would sit Mother and Child on the commode seat like a modern day Mary and child Jesus, except neither of us had any intention of saving the world, just hold on to each other until the crisis passed. The bathroom would fill with thick clouds of steam as my clammy skin beaded with the blanket of water vapor crowding me. My Mother would hum or sing or simply tell me that I would be okay.

When the shower did not work, our first line of defense, we would go to the hospital. I would add in here that this was after taking horrible medications that still poisons my memory with guttural gags of disgust. If the asthma attacks weren’t as bad as they were, I would have refused Aqubran (sp?) from the sheer pain of taking it. This routine happened every month and most times the shower worked. Usually once a month I made it to the hospital for a breathing treatment. I knew all the ER nurses and can remember how nice and attentive they were to me and my Mother. Nurses rock!

This one memory, the one that has taken me this long to tell you was the first time I remember the moon and the last time I went to the ER for treatment. The routine as described - the shower, the medications and all my Mother’s love was not stopping the attack. So, we went into the dirt-wired car and out into the night. I remember sitting in the back by myself because it felt good to lean against the window and look out back there. I remember my Mother driving down Thirteenth Street left on Silverbrooke toward the hospital as I watched the street lights go by, a beam of light radiated from them touching the car in pinwheel fashion as though to push us forward. As I looked out of the car, scared, tired, and wanting comfort greater then this routine the moon suddenly peaked out from behind a cloud.

She was this huge soft yellow circle that took presence over the night. She broke the darkness and filled the whole world with light, but not too bright like the sun and I could look directly at her. She was beautiful and for some reason she held for me a magic I have carried with me throughout my life. When I saw her that night, it was like seeing God’s Mother peak from behind the clouds just for me, just to shed some light my way.

While the clouds were moving and we were moving, the moon stood still in my world and held me. I watched as clouds passed over her and she shined through. This totally blew my mine! My suffocating existence was forgotten along with the exhaustion and fear, and all I could think of was watching her. And then, it happened my breathing got better. My asthma attack had stopped. By the time we got to the hospital, my Mother (also a nurse) came to the backseat of the car, check my breathing with her stethoscope and hugged me while telling me that it looks like we can go home. I asked my Mother if the moon was God’s Mother, but I don’t remember her response. I do remember the routine changed from that day forward, still having to go out into the night toward the hospital I never made it to the hospital again.

When I feel stressed, scared or confused I always take comfort in the Moon harbored in the night, watching over me.

Wow! Sorry for the long post. This felt good to write.

Laini and Megg, I have to say you two rock! I am really enjoying this experience for myself.



Blogger paris parfait said...

Amanda, this is a powerful story, very well told. The moon often exerts its pull at key moments of our lives. Thank you for spilling some important childhood memories out into the blogosphere.

7:01 AM, June 04, 2006  
Blogger Becca said...

I have my own memories of sitting in the steamy bathroom trying to breathe. It's a frightening experience, and your description brought many feelings back to my mind. So glad we both made it through those times~~

1:00 PM, June 04, 2006  
Blogger Kara said...

Ah, this was a wonderful story to read and I'm so glad this Sunday Scribble prompt brought this out. You write so beautifully about the experience that all I feel at the end is tremendous comfort.

3:24 PM, June 04, 2006  
Blogger tara dawn said...

Wow...what an incredible story. Your words literally overflow with beauty, singing melodies of strength to me.
My apologies for being so absent recently. I have missed your words and am enjoying losing myself in them now.
Hope you are well, sweet girl.

2:36 PM, June 05, 2006  

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