And this is what she does.
I’ve been digging on Nick Cave for a few years now. Rings of Saturn is amazing. This is who she is and this is what she does.
It’s not my favorite Nick Cave song, but it fits.
My mom painted this picture of me. I’m not sure of the year, but if I had to guess, it’s about 1971.
This was the year that I learned I was no longer a princess.
This was the year that my stomach started hurting.
This was the year that I stopped reflecting my narcissistic father.
This was the year when my smile was pulled down.
I see it in the portrait.
I see my mother’s signature. I see that she painted “mom” under her name.
Fifty years have passed.
I am still my mother’s daughter. She is so much older now. She will leave me. I can’t fathom that, you guys. I can’t. But it will happen.
This portrait sits against a wall in my bedroom. It had been mostly covered up for a year. Because I had a desk and a computer and monitors set up for my home office.
I disassembled my work from home office today. I am firmly entrenched back in my normal cubicle life.
Working from home is way better than being in the office, but I was happy to reclaim this space in my bedroom. This space where I can see myself. From so long ago.
I wish I could reach back in time and stroke her hair. I wish I could tell her that everything will be okay. I so wish I could. Because it is true.
Fifty years have passed since my mom painted this picture.
She painted it at the Cincinnati Art Museum in a class. I was the model. I remember seeing the other portraits. I remember how hard it was to sit still. I remember someone bringing me a little bottle of Coke. Remember those?
I remember thinking that my mom’s was the best.
Of course it was.
I’m hers. How could it not be?
Fifty years have passed. They weren’t an easy fifty years.
But here I am.
This is who she is and this is what she does.
So, this is my favorite Nick Cave song. It’s a murder ballad, it makes me feel strong and invincible. I have no idea what that says about me.