Years ago I was invited to join a group of women writers in my beach side community. My first response was to deny I was a writer then to protest that I didn’t want to publish. The organizer, an already published southern women, smiled sweetly and corrected me. “The goal is not to publish but to create touchstones in your life. You can share if you want but that is not required.”
The following is a touchstone called ‘Done’ which I shared with my family and friends. It is followed by a note from my son, the only person to respond. It speaks for its self.
“Done,” mumbled the woman referring to the end of physical form, the transition point we call death.
Done, like a turkey fully cooked and ready for the eating.
Done, as in fully created and ready to move on the next project.
I wish, at times, I could pronounce myself ‘Done’.
This creating and rearranging has me all tired out.
I am ready to be Done, to move on.
I am getting bored with this lump of clay and wonder why I continue to linger.
Is it to add that extra laugh line around the eye?
Is it to be at one more birth and feel that small slippery body in my hands before handing it to mom?
Am I curious as to how much longer my father will continue to curse taxes and disinherit me, again?
Why am I not done?
What more do I need for my masterpiece to be complete?
Have I mastered the art of living yet?
I long to be DONE, but know I am not. 6/19/2000
My son’s response 6/21/2000.
Mom, that was really great! You’re talking in metaphor, but metaphor so immediate and physical that it doesn’t come across as “artsy”. Even if I weren’t your son, I would think you should seriously consider writing more.
As I am your son, though, it makes me feel very sad to think you are feeling that way. I hope you are not always so world-weary as that poem. If it helps, I think you can sit back and feel “done” about a lot of things.
- Two children, raised to adulthood, both content and one very happily married. Done.
- One husband, supported and supporting through thick and thin. Done.
- Innumerable people helped, in ways big and small, from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Done.
- One life, lived without compromising the ideal you hold dear. Done.
- Reformed patriarchal western medicine to value women and personal integrity… well, you wouldn’t want to be done with EVERTHING would you? That would be boring.
Love, Your son (Told his mom that he loves her. Done…)