RAMs and ROMs: real events and divine contents

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May '08

wow to mama pow

just returned from annual powwow at stanford
our second for the record

however this time around as i view the native indians prance, i simply marvel and appreciate the fact
it is because of mothers, the human race is kept alive to carry on generations intact

so this entry dedicated to all mothers
for without our exquisite divine design, there be no further mothers, brothers, sisters and fathers
thanks to lm, cyberspace “invisible mother” served ripe material for ramrom foray
here’s to all mamas out there, a happy mother’s day!

it all began to make sense
the lack of response, the blank looks dense
the way one of the kids will walk into the room while i’m on the phone
and ask to be taken to the store or potty throne
inside i’m thinking, ‘can’t u see i’m on the phone, my darling drone’

obviously not
what have i got?

no one can see if i’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor
or even standing on my head in the corner or by the door
no one can see me at all
i’m invisible… the invisible mom at beck of call

some days i am only a pair of hands, nothing more
can you fix this? can you tie this? can you open this?, what’s cooking, what’s in store
some days i’m not a pair of hands
i’m not even a human being as the whole world descends
upon me it depends

i’m a clock to ask, ‘what time is it?’
i’m a satellite guide to answer ‘what number is the disney channel?’ on remote to hit
i’m a car to order, ‘right around 5:30, please, and by the way can u bring the mitt’

i was certain that these were the hands that once held books
and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude with savvy looks
but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again
she’s going, she’s going, she’s gone insane!

one night, a group of us was having dinner
celebrating janice’s return from england, a fabulous trip winner
she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in
i was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well and sharp as a pin

it was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself
i was feeling pretty pathetic, a pity-party about to delve
when unexpectedly, janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package
‘i brought you this…’ it was a book on the great cathedrals of europe to rummage

i wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription:
‘to charlotte, with admiration
for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees’ incantation

in the days ahead i would read – no, devour – the book
and i would discover what would become for me, life-changing truths to hook

no one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names
these builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished nor its gains
they made great sacrifices and expected no credit nor fame flames
for the passion of their building
was fueled by their faith that God’s eyes saw everything

a legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built
he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam with caring lilt
he was puzzled and asked the man, ‘why are u spending so much time in the groove
carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof?

no one will ever see it, why bother?’
‘ah, but because God sees’ was the workman’s gentle utter

i closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place
it was almost as if i heard God whispering to me with grace
‘I see you, charlotte. I see the sacrifices u make every day even when no one around u does
all u do tirelessly without fuss

for no act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on,
no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for Me to notice and a smile don
cos’ u are building a great cathedral but u can’t see right now what it will become or be born.’

at times, my invisibility feels like an affliction
but it is not a disease that is erasing my life, so avoid that addiction
rather, it is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness infliction
it is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride condition

i keep the right perspective when i see myself as a great builder
as one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished asunder
to work on something that their name will never be on any boulder

the writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime
because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree and submit to such grime

then it hit
when i really think about it…

i don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for thanksgiving,
‘my mom gets up at 4 in the morning
and bakes homemade pies, and hand bastes the turkey for 3 hours without moaning
and presses all the table linens a-glowing’

for that would mean i’d built a shrine or a monument to myself bear
i just want him to want to come home, each other to enjoy and care
and if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘you’re gonna love it there’

as mothers, we are building great cathedrals u see
we cannot be seen if we’re doing it right or what we’re building could or would be

and one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel
not only at what we have built, whether wood or marble

so on mother’s day
our hearts to sway
appreciate, reflect and marvel at the beauty that has been added to the world
by the sacrifices of invisible women, young and old

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