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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

May 9, 2010: Before we begin, let us, of course, welcome our newest member to the clatch -- Mr. Musician's Only (a.k.a. Analog Tom). His arrival here serves not only as a vindication of my subtle pestering, but as a veritable honor to those of us who believe our destiny lies hidden somewhere in the cantankerous beats of a metronome ...

Ah, so Mother's Day is back upon us. Those of us who've had mothers know how lovely the experience can be, especially after they're gone.

Now, I don't mean to sound facetious, but my mother kicked the bucket a few years back, and while she had her good qualities when she was alive -- I mean, being human, she must have -- her legend and legacy today continue to grow in girth, like our cat, who just can't stay away from the foodbowl. (Did you know that "girth" was spelled with an "i" by the way, and not an "e"?) What I'm saying is, her death only made her greater (my mother's, not the cat's).

You must understand, my mother was somehow larger than life. (A few of you -- meaning Matt -- remember her, so you know what I'm talking about.) My mother was more id than ego, or perhaps more Narcissus than Goldmund. (Forgive me, I'm struggling with the proper analogy.) She was bold, outspoken -- some would say rude. She was honest and insightful, but controlled all the tact of a West Nile mosquito. She was frighteningly blunt, self-centered, and mythically strange, and yet people loved her, especially people who didn't know her well.

It took some time to pass before I came to appreciate this woman for all her great qualities -- many of which I gratefully inherited, which made me the writer I am today (meaning a grossly underpaid one who has to blurt his noxious opinions into this ether for that minor modicum of creative satisfaction). She gave me -- probably without meaning to, because she was notoriously selfish -- the wide eyes with which I criticize, the insight to see everything that's wrong with everyone but me, the hard nose with which to call a spade a spade (at the risk of sounding racist), and the lovely, sometimes melancholy, sometimes grandiose, appreciation of art, beauty, and those things that are too strange for most people to appreciate, and yet are sometimes the most beautiful of all.

No, she was a good egg -- a rotten mother, but a good egg. And here, I'm being facetious, for she did the best she could with what she had, and I wouldn't have had another, despite all the weird suffering I incurred (including having to eat her chili). My god, who would want to trade the excitement in adult life of having to guess at what being normal is?! Who would want to be just like everyone else?

So, to all you mother lovers out there, I bid you have a happy day of celebration, and know that somewhere, at some time, some woman willingly spread her legs for you!


  1. Jarret, this is your best post, absolutely the best. What rings truest to me is the idea that it takes great amounts of time to pass, some might say "growing up" to realize who our mother's are and what they meant to us, no matter what their mothering style was—and yes, there's no one good way to mother. Thank you for this, it was lovely.

    oh and btw, i'm a horse girl and so it would never occur to me to spell girth with an e.

  2. Your mother was one of a kind. I'll never forget her. I can't think of anything smartassed to say. That's probably what Wolfy means by this being your best post.

  3. loved it. i laughed, i cried (ok, i didn't cry, but i did laugh). i hope some day i can write something as honest about my mom! xx suzy