Sunday, September 4, 2022

Good light

Happened into some good light last Thursday, right after getting my hair trimmed and in the wake of applying makeup to go meet a friend for dinner. And so I took a picture. Would have been better with lipstick, but I like the picture fine, even though I don't look half that bright and shiny in real life, which may be why I like the picture. I was trying out new makeup because being on the other side of my recent work deadlines, I now have endless hours in the day to obsess about The Wedding. My son's wedding in two weeks! This is really happening. 

I wont waste too many words on my anxieties about showing up, seeing all the people I haven't seen in a while, how I will look in the pictures, the whole nine. It makes no sense, really. No one cares how I look but me, no one is judging but me. When in my life did I get so hijacked by the notion that I appear wrong in every way. Just kidding. I know when it happened. I was four years old and had just been enrolled in a new school, the back gate for which was just a few doors up from 22 Studdridge Street in London, where we lived that year. Let's just say the kids in my class did not welcome in the new girl from Jamaica with the funny accent. I remember everything with cinematic clarity from that time. I swear I'm still living my life as if everything that happened back then is the whole truth about me, and years of therapy have not touched this. We humans can be so screwed up. Because why isn't knowing exactly where the misunderstandings began not enough to cure them? Oh well. This is a boring story.

My cousin, the mother of my nephew whose band played so beautifully at Kennedy Center on Friday evening, is now in bed with Covid. She had 35 people in her house the night after the concert, many having flown up from Jamaica or trained it down from New York. Most were staying over at her house, too. On Friday morning she walked six miles with our cousin Andrew and on Saturday morning she was so exhausted she could barely make it across her bedroom. She closed the door, climbed into bed, and prayed that no one else would come down with symptoms. So far, no one has. So much for thinking those of us who haven't yet caught the virus might be immune.

I was going to join a new choir this Wednesday, one closer to home, which holds rehearsals in the afternoon rather than the evening. But now I think I better just keep myself quiet for the next two weeks, and see as few people as possible to minimize the chance of getting sick before the wedding. Because I will not miss seeing my son marry his love. Right now, nothing matters more. It helps that I’ll take any excuse to just stay home. It was no hardship at all for me when the country went into lock down in the first year of the pandemic. 

My cousin from Trinidad, who is herself recently recovered from Covid, arrives on Wednesday and will be with us for three weeks, till a few days after the wedding. I had all kinds of plans for us, was looking forward to doing the city with her given that I'm blissfully between assignments, and I also wanted to get myself some bold red frames to wear with my blue-gray mother of the groom outfit, to lift the look somewhat, as the color is very understated. I'll try to punch things up with accessories, but again, no one will be looking at me, not with that gorgeous, glowing bride and her handsome bald-headed groom. Two weeks! My boy is getting married y'all!


  1. Your anxiety makes so much sense now that I read your back story. Your parents left you with strangers in a stranger country for weeks at a time. I'm sure they thought it was fine and it seems like it was fine for your brother but it traumatized you. I would have been traumatized me too. Your needs weren't met by your parents, even though they loved you, they weren't there when you needed them.
    I just watched a documentary called The Wisdom of Trauma with Gabor Mate and it helped me understand a lot of things about myself, my parents, my siblings and my own children. I would highly recommend the documentary. It's only $8 by donation and you have access to it for 48 hours. Gabor Mate is a Canadian doctor who dealt with patients with addictions in Vancouver and now writes about trauma and it's relationship to addictions.
    As for you woman, you are a beautiful woman, inside and out. I know you don't believe any of us but it's true and your children are proof of that.
    I hope the day goes well for your son and his wife to be, and most importantly I hope you enjoy it as well.
    Sending hugs and love.

  2. Especially mothers of the wedded get looked at- you will be stunning as always, no worries. So sorry folks are getting nailed by damned covid! So scary too close to the wedding day. It does not care, clearly just a nasty morphing virus that wants to live . I guess it will die when we all do.
    You are lovely, you realize.

  3. Oh my gosh, I was wondering when this was happening. I so understand your insecurities about your appearance, and I know this is literally hard-wired in some of us. I get it. You will look radiant and beautiful, and everyone LOOKING at you will think so. Because you are. The red glasses idea sounds fantastic!

  4. Isn't it odd how we can know these things and it not make a damn bit of difference. I sort of blame Freud for that. Get to the source and all will be well but it's damn not well, is it? It doesn't change the way it rewired us, laid the pathways for our brain to see and translate and relate things AND react and deal with things for our entire lives. We have already become who we are by the time we figure it out.
    I love you. You are loved. This is going to be a glorious day and you are going to be beautiful because you are beautiful and because love radiates from every cell in your body. And that love is why this wedding is happening. THAT is what it all springs from.
    Here's my hand.

  5. In 1979, I enrolled in a teacher training exchange program from my university in Germany which allowed me to live in London for six months with the stipulation that I work as a voluntary teacher's assistant for the Inner London Education Authority. I was sent to a primary school in Brixton where the majority of children were from Caribbean families. Apart from the elderly music teacher, all staff, every single one of the, was racist, arrogant, disrespectful, laughing about the children's language, pronunciation, dance moves, clothing, every aspect was turned into a derisive comment in the staff room. I stayed exactly one week. There are still days when I remember all that and wish I'd spoken up. I feel so ashamed about my inaction and reading your back story I wish there was a way I could go back in time.
    You look so lovely!!!

  6. You are so beautiful in every way. Please know that in your heart as you watch your son get married. You are his beautiful mother who brought this beautiful man into the world.

  7. You are going to look lovely and shine with joy and pride. I don't blame you for laying low for the two weeks prior.

  8. It will be a wonderful day and you will have all sorts of happy, crazy, funny memories afterwards. Enjoy!

  9. Been there, except it was a daughter. I had on more makeup than, I swear, I have worn before or since. And the photos of the bride and groom and their glowing young friends are wonderful. The obligatory family photo, eh, it worked. The girl wanted it.
    Yeah, appearance anxiety. Sucks.
    You STAY WELL! And you will. All will be well. Even if things seem to go west at the time.

  10. There's the light that shines from you and the light that shines on your beauty. If only we could see ourselves with the love that others see us, but that is not given to any of us. Yes, stay well for this up-coming life-affirming celebration for all the generations. Seeing the love your son and his beloved share brings me joy.

  11. You are a very beautiful woman inside and out….wishing so much you knew that…Most of us struggle to some degree with our worthwhileness(probably not an actual word) and what an enormous waste of our precious time on earth it is…I believe that once we cross over to the next dimension we see that the acceptance and understanding we were willing to bestow upon others should have been given to ourselves as well…we still have time to do that…I will never meet you in life but nonetheless you and your family,your work and your very existence has enriched mine. Mary in Colorado

  12. I’m so excited for all of you! May the happy couple enjoy a lifetime of love and happiness.

  13. Childhood experiences have a true lifelong impact. How could they not? It's the letting go that is difficult but so helpful if possible. You are not alone. The wedding is going to be glorious. You, my friend, will be a lovely mother of the groom. Accessorizing will be fun and your red frames sound terrific. Be safe and stay well.

  14. "Because as lonely and lost and locked in as I felt that year, in some untouchable part of me, I knew I knew that teacher was just plain wrong."

    Returning to your post, I clicked on "everything that happened." Hadn't known of your blog in 2011 and did not know about that part of your life before. As a small child, your reading and writing spirit could not be diminished by a stunningly unqualified teacher and that spirit remains strong to this day and inspires me.

  15. People can be so damn cruel. I'm sorry you were put in that situation. Please know that you are so gorgeous and will be at the wedding, as well. I am so happy for you all.