by Joni Abilene
Mother returned The Moonflowers last Friday before checking spam. She placed it down on my blemished piano bench with visual exasperation and a sigh. “I never thought my child would write filth like that.” I am accustomed to her unfiltered critiques, yet there is still a bite of pain in the wake of each word. Surprisingly, I am able to keep a morale of tenacity against all this. She has her opinion, and I have mine.
If I, or anyone else, continuously gives in to a parents’ displeasure, there will be significantly less interesting work out there, and we all know it. At some point a person must cut through the judgements, and even the love, to forge a unique highway of expression. My mother may be displeased, but when I create I am quite happy. I feel what I write to be justified, and more than that it is relevant, at least it seems that way. It makes me happy. A peninsula of self-pleasure am I, with a capital of modest vulgarity. My poor mother and her nightmares. Her sorrow. Her Catholic rue.
She never said she liked it. That’s what pains me the most.
But the moment I left her house back when and became an adult, I swore to the angel of life that I would be true to something, even in the face of indifference, which most of life is. There’s always a parent in life, always a child. A boss, a spouse, a deity, a dollar. Should we blow the dust off our hands the moment they become dirty, or espouse the dirt and say, I am this and this is me?
I am dirt.