Only once before has anyone said “Go away and just write”. It was at one of those health retreats, and I found myself talking to a psychologist, my choice, and burst into tears about my Mum’s death in 2000. For a long time I had held her death in a comfortably sad place. I feared her death, through my years, more than anything else. Anything. Yet when she died that evening, I felt she was at peace, and strangely I felt just numb and sad. Ok things to feel. I never shouted my tears and rage like I did that day on the rocks at Newport Beach, months before her final days.
The psychologist. Nice, but I felt under-stimulated, told me to go and write a letter to my Mum. Go away and just write. Stream of consciousness stuff. Yep and I did. I wrote it quickly, effortlessly. The words – cliche coming – I hate ’em – just ran out of my pen. I thanked her and told her how much I appreciated her sacrifices in loving me so wholly. I told her what a beautiful woman she was and that I understood her frailties; and that I could only aspire to be loved, yes truly loved, by so many people as she was.
The psychologist had also told me to destroy the letter, set fire to it (did I cause that bushfire??). And I did, near a creek on the hilly path that all these fat fighters walked on every morning.
The psychologist didn’t explain why. But I knew. It was a goodbye. Yes, of course it was. But then it wasn’t cos I think of her every day. I even try and do the ‘what would Mum have done’ thing.
I could write about the Babe adinfinitum – I was hoping I would spell adinfinitum incorrectly. That way I skipped a cliche.
So the second time someone said “Just write”:
D, after a bumpy intro in the 90’s you’ve become a good friend. Your scattiness and truth make you great company. You told me to just write for 10 minutes every day for 2 weeks. That was in about May. It’s now October. Fuck. so I’m going to give it a go. Stream of consciousness you said. OK. I’ll give it a whirl. Fuck. Cliche.