Thursday, August 11, 2011

The long and winding road

8x6 oil and cold wax on a plank


Since the time my mother passed away, I've had urges to go visit places. 
To the place where I grew up, to where my grandmother grew up.
I'm not really sure why.
I drove out to the place where I grew up, with my childhood friend
that I recently reconnected with on fb--after years of not seeing each other
or knew where each other were.  Thank you fb!
Anyway, we drove to the "small town".  
 The winding road we lived on was the same...
the curves, the hills, the twists, the turns. 
But the surroundings changed.
I don't know what it was that I was looking for exactly,
or what I was expecting to find.
Did I expect to see myself as a girl jumping rope,
swimming in the river, riding my bike, or climbing trees?
The roads used to be gravel-sprayed with oil on top.
I remember having to scrub my feet before I went to bed
because I refused to wear shoes.
Some of the roads were just gravel, there used to be one road
 that was a set of tire tracks with a ribbon of grass in between.
There were little rickety abandoned buildings--all gone now.
All the roads are paved, 
most of the summer cottages are now big year round houses.
A part of me felt sad because there was nothing for me to hang on to.
The beach where the neighborhood kids hung out was gone.
My favorite climbing tree gone, in fact the woods where we used to play-gone.
Everything changed.
What they say is true, you can't go back.
When you search for some tangible part of your past, it's not there.
Someone bought the old rickety shack or the summer cottage and tore it down.
I realized that sometimes you have to let go of what you left behind,
to make room for someone else's dreams.
I have closure now.  Maybe that's what I was after all along.


jgr said...

Chris, what a beautiful post! You are so right: We can go back to the place, but we can't go back to the time because everything changes. Bittersweet.
I'm glad you found some closure, it's very healing.

joanne said...

and in making room for someone else's dreams, we leave a part of ourselves in those places where we come from... a part of ourselves that becomes part of that place forever... like we're part of the soil... our dreams, our laughter, our memories, our tears... and for all who build their dreams after us they build on what we built on and dreamed... and so on and so on...

a meaningful trip... an important one for you... and a childhood friend found again in an unexpected place. how wonderful in the reconnection to have the opportunity to build something new together. :)

Judy Shreve said...

a beautiful post and a beautiful painting - both raw with emotion -
I think when our parents pass we lose a sense of history and belonging. I think your reaching back was trying to hold on to all those memories -- they are in your heart and will be easier to access as the grief eases.
Sorry for your loss.

Ruth Armitage said...

Hi Chris,
You are absolutely right. For me, even though the places haven't changed much, the absence of my people makes them so different. The march of time...

Your painting is beautiful. If that's what comes from this pain, it may be worth it.

lynda Howells said...

agree with almost everything tht is written here. Your own piece is beautiful. Hope you are ok and looking after yourselfxxlynda

wanda miller said...