Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

8 Months Under


From first light to late night, I’ve had my mother on my mind. Her, on this June 3, gone now 8 months long, yet 8 months too short to really comprehend my orphanhood. An orphanhood of doors forever sealed shut, and others flung agape, but only to let in the chill air of unsurety.

Some 6 to 8 months ago, I was frozen in a pitch-dark space, absent entrances or exits, absent windows. That some sun now dances before me, even if its warmth too quickly dissipates still, is evidence of walking toward loss with clear eyes and openness to grief, of walking toward what and who walks toward me, sometimes now even with a bit of the fresh joy of springtime in my step. There’s progress on this journey of monthly markings of death.

The distance is immeasurable, though, from mom to no mom, from 8 months ago to now, from total bleakness and wondering why morning returned to me each day, to beckoning doorways far ahead that I can’t quite figure out how to reach. More months are needed. Or will it be a lifetime of months? It still hurts. I’m still fragile. Permanently fragile even. Like an egg. Like a flower.

I miss my mom, in the way it feels when one season clearly, finally, crosses the threshold into the next one, never again to return in quite the same form. Fragile love, but love nonetheless.

(Photo by Cindy Milstein, San Francisco, June 3, 2014.)


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This entry was posted on June 3, 2014 by in Dispatches from Life.
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