A Resource for Performing Artists, Scholars and Audiences.
some days of grief are worse than others - today is pretty bad: today i finished my movie, Indigo Lady A Performance Art Movie (except for tweaking sound) and Mama is not going to see it. i think she would have liked it - she weirdly seemed to have the gene for "getting" avant garde.
on October 5 2011 i was in Nebraska as my mother's backup as she told her oncologist that she was been-there, done-that with chemo. 19 days later she died. in her bed - the way she wanted. after having Buddhist hospice - the way she wanted.
two of my siblings stayed in Nebraska with her. i was not there - she already had my permission to die. yes, she sought it and i told her "84 is old enough." and a few days letter she let me know that she expected to live for about 10 days. my mother was pragmatic - i knew if she said 10 days that it would be.
so i held vigil. it was difficult and painful and the best growth experience that i ever had. i don't think living with cancer myself could be a better growth experience. in fact, after holding vigil for my mother and achieving perspective, peace and calm in a way i never would have thought someone with my temperament could achieve.
because of what i learned during vigil, i am trying to make the most of my education, which taught me for one thing, that the reason i've had my head and hands in/on art most of the days of my life (even when i was a paralegal) because Mama used art as reward; and made it seem normal to make art after spending the day fulfilling my societal obligations like school, work, etc. vigil also taught me not to try to manipulate time and instead to give up trying to control it; vigil taught me waiting will not kill me. vigil also, ironically, made me more open, rather than closed and falling back on introversion. i do not do well inside my head - creative internal processing is not my forte. i am much better at being in the world, quietly, but in it rather than inside my own thoughts and feelings.
i was able to make Indigo Lady because of the way i was raised to practice art every day. making this movie built some relationships for me and strengthened others. finishing the movie is making me look forward to what else i can do rather than regretting that this is finished. my mother would say, "Honey, I think you are just getting started. Your work is not done."
since i already know that's what she would she, it's silly, wishing she was here to say it. no: vigil was work, and vigil is over. time to go on with my other work.