Coat of Capacity

Coat of Capacity.
Wednesday April 5, 2017
: thinking about dead mums and legacy; well dead anyones actually, but mum’s in particular as it is a year today since mine died. By legacy, I don’t mean dosh, I mean what has made me different, stronger or whatever, because she was my mum and we spent sixty years in each other’s lives. Last night, or should I say, this morning, for it is one am, (about the time she died), I am wide awake and thinking about her, still alert after an evening of splendid choral music by my bro’s choir. Early this evening, as I wriggle uncomfortably on the hard pews at St Martin In The Field’s church, I drift into the depths of the music, I think about mum and how she would be following the notes with restless fingers, her throat shaping the vowels, a little hum escaping from time to time, under cover of the swelling voices, very much as I am doing. I have such a desire to get up and conduct, I often find myself engulfed in such urges, but resist, firmly pressing my rather sore bottom into the unyielding wood.
And at one in the morning, as I wander round the garden, my mind turns to the blog I put up yesterday about 3rd April being “Happy Blind Day”. I know she would appreciate the thought, for she was not someone who could be set back for long. Life was often hard, things did not always, even mostly go her way, after much loud protesting, agitating, arguing, persuading, goading and persistently going on about whatever it was that bothered her, her mood would swing round, her practical mind would bend itself to the problem, and she would as like as not, come up with a way of dealing with it. If she had the where-with-all, she’d roll up her sleeves and sort it. If it was too big for her to change, she’d think about who should, what the nature of that change would be, and how she was going to persuade whoever to do it, make it, legislate for it or grow it. In the end, there was always a way. “I’ll have some of that”, I think, stroking a drooping hyacinth, flopping over the garden path, … Hmm, perhaps, a handy twig propped just so, ah like this (I bend to tuck said stick under the tired flowers head) will help that little flower keep it’s chin up, … just like I should keep my chin up, no matter that I miss her; and our “this is how we change the world”, conversations.
Perhaps I’ll model that “finding a solution” coat she used to wear (K reaches out, picks it up & swings it across her shoulders, plunging hands into sleeves, wrapping it’s capaciousness around her, – ah yes it fits). So here I am in her coat of capacity, it’s a tattered white lab-coat btw, wearing it, I can put the world to rights in my own way, oh yes I can! “Happy mum’s legacy to me, happy mum’s legacy to me.” I hum, tapping a wind chime, “ping”, stroking a clump of damp sage, breathing it’s savoury sweetness in, and noticing how very still the garden is, not a breath of wind to be felt.

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