Memories Transmuted


Elm Grove, the old neighborhood, today


February 16, 2016   

The weather is unseasonably warm.  I can hear the spring peepers chirping in the ravine.  In the garden, the day lilies are already starting to poke through the wet dirt and the weeds are getting an early start too.  Only the sky still looks wintery, gray and unsettled.


The sky suits my mood.  I've felt unsettled lately, I suppose the result of Seasonal Affective Disorder (so aptly called by its acronym, SAD) and a vague sense of unease I've had ever since I buried my mother's ashes last December.


I'm not sure why, but old images and memories from childhood, most of which I'd just as soon remain forever buried, have been resurfacing and plaguing both my dreams and waking hours.    


After all these years of living with myself (64 next month) I've learned not to resist unwelcome thoughts.  It's useless and besides, memories recalled are the bottomless creative well from which I can draw, again and again; they are a perverse sort of gift.  


I made a map of the old neighborhood the other day and it triggered all sorts of memories, of neighbors, pets, toys, playmates, even an instance when I saw a spectacular cloud (shaped like a giant poodle) in the sky.

Memory is such a curious and unpredictable phenomenon and, I notice, one that cannot be turned on or off at will.  






                                                 I don't know why they stay

                                                 I wish they'd go away

                                                 Those pictures from the past

                                                 That rise half veiled, unframed, awry

                                                  And dangle in my restless mind

                                                  When I can't go to sleep 


                                                  The phantom wreathed in pipe smoke

                                                   Or is that Daddy's face?

                                                   The blue hell in the furnace

                                                   Flames licking at the grate


                                                   *Michi's rigid body

                                                   Lying in the street

                                                   A river of pink water

                                                   In a soapy bathroom sink

                                                   Washing my dead kitten

                                                   Trying to wash him clean


                                   *'Michi' (pronounced 'Mee-chee, 'Kitty' in Spanish)

                                    was my kitten's name.  


The old Elm Grove Shopping Center.  Once full of young families with children, the neighborhood is all but abandoned now.  




The water tower at the top of Delaware Hill. 


As always, if you find anything you like (or even makes you 'cuss') at Dogwood Daughter, please tell someone else about me and my little website.  I'm an indie artist, with no advertising or marketing other than word of mouth from kind folks like you.  Thank you.

Be Well and Good Luck,

Martha Maria 

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