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Knots in A Chain

Over Mom’s Day I thought of my mom. My latest Quarantine Clean is the broken (but I just can’t throw away) jewelry drawer. (Does anyone else still have the American Flag pin made out of safety pins?????). There were a couple gold chains in there globbed up with knots that I have been too impatient to fix. My mom taught me to take a pin and gently poke until I had a link that could come free of the knot. It’s slow, give me patience, kind of work. The kind of work that comes easier these days.

Patience wore thinner not being with all my boys on Mother’s Day. When this is over, I imagine I will want to fly to Nashville and LA immediately. Where two sons each live, out of my reach. Out of my arms.

Put me in the middle - say - on the edge of the Oklahoma pan handle - where I’ve never ever been. Stretch me out : the left hand to Hollywood, the right to Tennessee. Let me explode like bacon on a hot griddle. So intense the feeling that I want to be two places at one time.

It’s not right to be a mom and be required to be apart from your kids. It feels lost - like the middle of the country where grade school geography has left my brain. Is Oklahoma neighbor to Kansas?

Or it feels lonely - like big country and big sky. Here in isolation, a heart so big it is always lonely.

I cannot wait to be at Rory’s apartment, eyeing his sugary cereals and skull art. To breathe in the grit of Hollywood Boulevard: I will photograph everything!! The balcony with no chairs, and its view of the Hollywood sign in the hills, the Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles wrappers on the coffee table- he has been eating well, God love him, his smiling face with the omnipresent beanie pulled on.

Wear that beanie all day! I will beam. Wear it out to the restaurant tonight, I will say - so happy to see him.

I will hug him crazily, feel him do his great squeeze back to me.

I can’t wait to be at Shane’s house conking my head on open cupboards, hopping like I’m crossing a river by stone as I make my way through laundry piles and shoes on the mudroom floor. To breathe in the Nashville humidity and magnolias. Look how full his kitchen garbage can is - he has been eating well, God love him! I will photograph everything! The cardinals on the tree outside, the guitar and the xbox cords everywhere like thrown spaghetti.

I will tell him, Yes! Wear that fly fishing T shirt with the hole in the shoulder out to dinner tonight!! I am so happy to eat with you!

I will hug him hard and feel the way he pats my back when he hugs back.

We are a family apart. And the things that bugged me before - like tight knots in a gold necklace - are slowly being picked apart by time. Wearable again, a beautiful chain.

I love Rory's beanies.

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