Moon in Taurus
I’m not my mother’s daughter, nor my father’s for that matter. Growing up I was closest to my free-spirit Aunt Marie, who encouraged my wild ways and love of fantasy. Her dying, when I was 12, ended my idyllic childhood. Celia and I were thrust upon each other without a buffer, while grieving over losing Danny all over again.
He popped in for his sister’s funeral, leaving wife and kids in California. New kid #2 had just popped out, and Gwen was in no position or desire to travel cross country, despite her long friendship with Marie and Helen, Marie’s wife of decades. Dead is dead, after all. Marie and Gwen wouldn’t be doing any catching up. Helen was pouring her grief into packing up, selling the farm, getting ready to start her new life as a widow abroad. Gwen also had reason not to want to tangle with Celia or me.
Dad was here, but overwrought dealing directly with Marie’s passing. She was the only part of his natal family that he still adhered to. She had been his best friend and savior through good and bad parts of his life. He had been still in contact by telephone and occasional long, rambling drunken letter, even the occasional get together on neutral ground. Marie, though she did not think of Celia as a friend did think of her as family. I was practically a daughter to her. Though she and Gwen had been friendly, Marie never approved of her taking Danny from us. Gwen had insisted when she and Danny married that he have no further contact with Celia, though she knew better than to include contact with me in that edict. I, like Marie, got the occasional letter and telephone conversation, but only at Marie’s farm. As I spent most of my time there after school while Celia was at work and on school breaks, that was not difficult to manage.
While Danny was here, he was genuinely happy to see us. Celia was somehow wise enough to enjoy his company for this brief time rather than poison it with spite and remorse. I hoped beyond any rationality that he would stay, or take me with him when he left. Gwen would never have gone for it. Though she prided herself on her open mind in most cases, she was frankly intolerant of Celia and, by extension, me. With the law, lush lifestyle, and two youngsters, one a newborn son, on her side, I didn’t stand a chance. That didn’t stop me from hoping, being bitterly disappointed, blaming Celia most viciously, brooding for years. Well, maybe I am my mom’s daughter a bit. She was my most prevalent role model. It was a stormy life, and I became well practiced at asserting my independence.
The first time Danny left, when I was five, almost six, Celia gave me a notebook and a box of colored pens. She said it would help me to write my feelings when I couldn’t speak them. A writer was born and made from that childhood trauma. Storms and silver linings.
I like my little room. My space, reflecting my taste and lifestyle, where I can land and recharge. I like that I know I can land on my feet wherever I find myself, in the absurd twists and turns. I like being able to see it all as stories, mythical breadcrumbs along a path from there to here and onward, along some Yellow Brick Road. Where are my brave, wise and caring companions? Don’t get me wrong — I love my friends and am totally blown away by the many wonders of my lover. Still, ultimately, I always seem to be traveling this road on my own. I guess that means I get to make my own terms. Brave, wise, caring, sounds like me. Maybe we get to be the people we hope to find, if we’re open to finding us within. No, that’s not schizophrenia. It’s brave, wise, caring, reflective. Dad was a troubadour. Mom was a melancholy yet practical romantic. Threads weaving into stories decorate my inner room that I carry with me.