Five years ago, my mother and I gave each other exactly the same present for Christmas; a paperback copy of ‘Think Like Da Vinci’ by Michael J. Gelb, both of us thinking that it was perfect for the other. The only difference from me was that my mother followed some of the exercises the author suggested and purchased a little notebook to capture her findings in; when she died it came to me.
On the first page, she tackled some big questions, putting down in writing events and thoughts that had shaped who she was and how she lived her life. Now at the age of going on 62, I find myself reading her words, knowing that I too must add mine to hers, so that one day one of my children will inherit the little book and hopefully do the same.
The one thing I miss about my mother is the long conversations we had. We talked of poetry, of art, of recent exhibitions and concerts. Of her life as a child growing up during the war, her years at art school, memories of her mother and father, of friends from the past and friends of the present. The follies of life and the little things that made a difference.
These conversations were defined by the context in which we had them. Some just to pass the time, others to share information that we hoped the other would find useful or interesting. Our conversations would always find their own path, sometimes ending up going places none of us could have imagined.
Her notebook lies on my desk, face up encouraging me to open it. Her pencil writing, frail with the years she was when she began filling its pages while her thoughts, on the other hand, leap out as strong and as confident as ever. I will miss my mum, but I am thankful for our conversations, for her notebook with its surplus number of pages, and for having had the time to have gotten to know her as much as I did.
My next blog will be ‘back to normal’, whatever that means, and soon I will be recording some of them in podcasts. Apparently, it’s the thing to do these days and I am being encouraged to do so.
Have a good week,