Monday, May 3, 2010

For Mother's Day: A Tribute






"Añoro a mi madre"
My Mother and Father were married
on August 23, 1922; it was also his birthday.
Before the wedding, they co-created a
song, "Someday, Not Far Away."

He wrote the music; she wrote the lyrics.
That would be repeated several times, as
they were perfectly matched
as partners and artists.







Wedding

"Some Day, Not Far Away"
Lyrics by Marjorie Lucille Scott:

We’ll be together
Forever and ever
Some day, not far away.

We’ll settle down
In some quaint little town
Where trouble’s far far away.

We’ll have a little, ivy-covered hideaway,
Where kids can play,
And friends will find their way.

We’ll be together
Forever and ever,
Some day, not far away.

c. 1921




Conception/Birth


My brother, Scott, is three
years older; this poem is more
symbolic than sequential, obviously.

Note the date it was written and the 10K we
ran in the 80s across the Bay Bridge.




Propylaea

That it was a strange beginning is fact.
We toiled back bent up the hill. No,
I guess it wasn’t really toiling
because we felt so well—
as if our first steps were our last,
a pre-celebration of victory,
a Pan-Hellenic winning fought in the past.

How many ways do I need to describe love’s
architecture? A portico?
An arch? A gate? A door?
I knew the precise moment we went through;
and singing it to the summit was the only problem
as far as I could tell—

That it was a strange ending, too, is fact.
We fell. Not exactly we, because by then
you seemed weightless.
You went winging
to the top, while I recall
I felt a lot like lead: Much alone,
And damn near as defeated as Sisyphus
when he fell ass-backward with that stone.

Kay Weeks
1970




Music and language
surrounded
me...

Joaquin Murieta

My Mother loved to say his
name, so as a child
I heard it over and over again,
Joaquin Murieta
Joaquin—Joaquin

Soft like a lullaby,
Whole like a round.







Then there was that upbeat song!
Boogie Lullaby

She wrote the lyrics; my Father played it
on the piano; I learned and played it later on:

Right across the street from me
Lives a groovy family
There’s a father and a mother
And a child about three (my brother).
‘Though they long for peace and quiet
Boogie Woogie is their diet,
When the baby starts to cry
It’s mother sings!


Rock a bye my baby
Don’t you cry,
Here’s a Boogie Lullaby!
continues...but not here...




Nurturing: Goodbye Dear
My Mother stood on our porch of the Mediterranean Revival house in Glendale, California,
and waved goodbye to me every morning as I walked down the hill to catch a bus several
blocks away. Mid-way down the hill, I waved back, not knowing how much that
connection would make me want similar affirmation later in life. I hope I have given
some of that same comfort to to my children and others: The Send-Off...


Stability/Courage

Lucille's early childhood was punctuated by stunning loss and change; happily, after she
earned a BA at Ohio State University, she married my Father, a dynamic guitarist
and banjo player, after which they traveled together for years with big bands,
in England and the US. Then, they settled down, but not in a quaint little town.
They clearly adored each other throughout their long marriage.

She took care of us by staying at home, and endured with grace; in fact, she thrived--Playing badminton, reading, walking our Dachshund Frankie, feeding the Blue Jays...and teaching us many things about life, politics, all.

Caryatids

Women built to bear
with fluted grace
the marble burden set
ponderously above
their coiled hair,
and resigned, it seems,
to the continuum of the task,
outwardly display
enervated arms,
decomposing masks.

Yet women holding
Nature's love
come gently back to life
under their sculptured robes:
Not accepting passive loads
nor begging for release,
the weight--first borne in sorrow
sees diminution, then surcease.

1970 KW, revised 5.09


She knew me...and understood the frustrations that paralleled
those of many women during the late 50s and early 60s.

CONSENSUS FROM
HOUSEWIVES TO PROFESSOR

Dear Professor Lovelace,
Of late we must confess to
a certain readiness

for committal or renewal of commitment.
Either dedication or disintegration would be fine.
Your slides of Rameses and Justinian (the eyes follow us still)
of Guernica, the Parthenon and Tiepolo’s cherubs (weren’t they
called Putti?) are only part of our disjointed cerebrations.
Your slides click-clack through our days of vacuuming,
while the hose and cord strangle like the Laocoan.
We are modern caryatids holding up the house.
Oh, we conclude—the manifold applications of a college education!
Did you know that a sponge (like the ones in our dishpans
except they are synthetic) is in Phylum Coelenterata,
and that popcorn and milk of magnesia are colloidal dispersions?
Did you know our meandering thoughts,
like Plato, are largely peripatetic?
Chiton is insect armor, somewhat like the casing around
our brains built up through various occupational diversions.
I’ll bet you would never know us now, we are so thin,
but then, Nefertiti never had a double chin.

Dear Professor Lovelace, do you think we’re clowning?
Dear Professor Lovelace, can’t you see we’re drowning?

Kay Weeks
1963


SeparationSometimes with mothers and daughters, it can be a one-liner. Usually not. I remember when and where she said, “Egads, you scare me!” I was already working in DC in a professional position so it surprised me, and gently set us apart. I have felt the same way (the Egads part) about my daughter as the strength and dynamism seem to grow generationally. But scared? No, not for me. Awe and respect are more like it!


Loss and Memory --transformation...

My Last Penguin

There's my last penguin, skating on the ice, or supposedly on the ice. Actually, a small, scalloped piece of silvery metal comprising the ice is the contact point for the front foot, while the back foot is lifted slightly. One can almost imagine he will push off, circle around and continue this way indefinitely. But he is caught in the motion, perhaps wishing to glide and, unable, subsiding into a kind of peaceful resignation as if he understands that, as penguins go, he was not the best.

Nonetheless, his head is held triumphantly high. The chest and body are opaque and milky while the head, shoulders and wings are transparent. Now, do you have the picture? He's glass. In fact, he is part of a Christmas scene given to me by my son, but several years ago, I gently discarded the other pieces because they were tacky and not to the point. The glass penguinis stored in an old dresser in my office and makes an appearance for about a week every year around Christmas.

Glass, looking through glass, glass like a prism of time; I see all of the penguins that preceded this last one. They become, ARE, my mother because it was her amazing collection—wood, brass, ceramic, dating from the 1940s to the 70s.

The collection has been mine for many years; family and friendswho know about it have added many more until I wanted to scream,"No more penguins!" In fact, a few years ago, my daughter said, "Mom, are you about all penguined out?" I said "Yes," and they stopped. The collection will become my daughter's when I die. I think she might edit the penguins severely, but I won't know, of course and actually, that is perfect, because I can't let them go. Even the upstart glass one whose promised glide connects three generations in time.

For Lucille Scott Davidson <1899-1980>
By Kay Davidson Weeks

My Father, William Julian Davidson
and especially for my brother, Julian Scott Davidson,
and for my children, Alison Weeks and David Scott Weeks.



May, 2010






7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kay..thanks for sharing so much with your friends. Some day, not far away was wonderful. Propylaea is tremendous....I love it. The descriptive picture of your mother followed by Caryatids and the letter to Professor Lovelace are sherr genius. This was the best blog yet. What a marvelous tribute. Your mother would be very proud. Matter of fact, im proud of you....Harve

Anonymous said...

Kay-di,


Such a wonderful tribute to your mother. I know that she would love it as would your dad.

DB
College roomie from CA

Anonymous said...

Very nice.

EHB
Cheverly, MD

Anonymous said...

Praise God for mothers such as yours!

N and C Suter
Ellicott City, MD

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, kay. What a wonderful tribute to your mother and father (and scott, alison and david, as well). Your parents' relationship/"partnership" is lovely and rare.

Friend from Catonsville, MD

Anonymous said...

Really a good one, Kay. Interestingly, my mother was born in 1899, and she and my daddy married in 1922, also.
Well done. XX Kaye

CA friend

Denee Barr Art News and More said...

What's important most. An appreciation for whatever life brings us with good memories and lessons that are timeless. Thanks I enjoyed reading.