Monday, May 31, 2010
My Mother was raised in India. She went to school in the Himilayan Mountains. She was exotic and strange to me because I was raised in provinces of China. We were of different cultures. I spoke Mandarin and street Taiwanese, she Hindi and English with a slight hint of a British Accent.
Most of my life, in fact perhaps clear up until a few months ago, I didn't understand my mother and we had difficulty between us. When I came to take care of her back in January, that changed.
My youngest brother Timothy is a wordsmith and the night she died he said it best...he had been flying through the night to reach me and my mother and while enroute was amazed as he looked down through his airplane window at how beautiful the Eastern seaboard is from 10,000 feet above. He had always thought my Mother's life tragic and sad and that in recent years, things had not gone well for her, but then he saw her from 10,000 feet and saw everything about her differently and with a panoramic perspective.
Most of my life I saw my mother from her alleys, back doors, kitchens, septic systems and wiring panels, from a view so close as to render her landscape nothing but miswirings and faulty pipes. It was only as she died, that I got that 10,000 foot aerial persepctive and saw for the first time what every single other person around her saw; her majesty, eloquence, wit, beauty and ability to tell the best story about the most mundane thing. It was right under my nose all the time.
Her memorial is tomorrow. My brothers, daughter and sisters- in -law have gathered beside me at my mother's old home in Williamsburg to make arrangments. We have put right her house, sorted photos, written and cooked a good deal of food. I have done everything but paint.
I also realized today, that every single record of paintings I have done, I have posted. I am dry. This is my last painting until I can start new. I have so many planned and half done, but not a day at home in my studio in months.
~the Four Children of Mrs. Bao gathered at the old family home. A new dynasty had begun and everything would be different.