A poem for my mother, Caron McCloud. I wrote this on the morning, of the same
day my mother flew into her future on the evening of March 29, 2021
is slipping across the veil.
The very first thing to go
were the memory based nouns.
Soon the verbs
and then the structure.
One by one the thing
that is most precious to her
is reducing itself to binary code
then a tiny row of black specs
where words use to be.
Off they went through the valley
of the equal sign on a ride
on outta’ here.
For a while we watched
the words and names go
mourning each transitional phrase
and finding joy in the present tense.
Then we began to grieve together
the gradual removal
of her most precious possession
that which so few have
and most lack entirely:
a sense of context
Context is my mother’s teaching.
nothing holds together.
She is losing her context
one texture at a time.
Less with us and more
on the side of the divine dwelling.
Yet something too is moving
for the daughter of a mystic.
The gradual persistent retreat
of a gossamer hedge of protection
and enclosure of boundary
is shrinking back
gossamer mote by shimmery mote
my mothers shape around me
retreats from language to silence.
Shhhhh….mother is sleeping now.
Her final journey of visibility
retreating across the sign
we both loved so much.
That which represents
energy and matter are the same.
The theory of relativity,
does it exist if you can see both
I try to see both her energy and her matter.
Her matter, matters to me,
the matrices through which
she wove me.
As each part of her disappears
into the unfathomable context
of energy I am reminded that
nothing is truly lost,
even though it is lost to me in this form.
When we say ‘the other side’
perhaps we mean the other side
of the known, the visible,
the tangible, the particle.
The final veil is dropping
and I am watching it in silence.
My mother’s particles are waving to me and moving through me.
Her waves are calling her back across
the seeming divide, the day
when mother becomes ancestor.
I hear her calling my name
as the edge of her pale pink dress
slips across into the unknown.
Sing with us.
Daughter of Caron
Granddaughter of Eden
Letter from the Red Thread Cafe #843
A Vigil of Rematriation for 30 Days
Dear Intentional Creativity Community,
My mother Caron has flown into her future. She was 83. Navigating this kind of loss is a once in a lifetime experience. I was able to spend two weeks with her while she was still lucid, and it was such a gift. Our family took turns with her and supported our father Jimmie during this journey. I have so much to say about it, and so little. I wrote every day for two weeks when I was there and I will share that writing with you soon. If you were a part of the Red Thread Cafe, you saw those writings already called Wolfmother Wallpaper.
I felt compelled to let you know, because she has been so much a part of our work here in Intentional Creativity and she has many students who adore her, and community members who have spent very meaningful time with her. We have gotten to work together for over twenty years in the making of this movement. I asked our Musea Collective to put this letter together for you – I know you would want to honor her as well in your own way.
Right now I am observing a 30-day vigil called Rematriation to honor my grief and my celebration of my mother Caron’s life and our relationship. When the insight to do this came through it was a strong impulse right after she passed on, and I said yes. I am on day 8. This means being in nature, making art, not being on technology or video and just paying attention to the sound. Spending lots of time in the glory of California Wildflowers.
Here I am soaking in the sunshine yesterday in the field of mustard. Photo credit by Jonathan of course. I am noticing an interesting coincidence that my mother’s painting has a similar stance of a woman embracing nature…These signs are welcome to my soul as I celebrate and grieve the legacy of such an amazing woman, mama, teacher, poet and artist. I just feel so blessed to have had her as my mama.
To say yes to 30-days of not working in a traditional sense is rather outrageous really. Thankfully I had already pre-recorded my video classes for essential courses. Then I had to cancel over twenty+ appointments. I had to say no to important invitations. Honestly, I was rather dreading the rescheduling and what it might mean.
Then when I said yes, I got the next bit of information: You are an artist, for 30 days you will just be an artist doing Intentional Creativity. This is your vigil. All that arises in that time will be a part of the art. This is rematriation for you. Do this. Do not waver. (well okay then). This is also a teaching from my mother – creating a context and everything that happens in that context gets included. In other words, Intentional Creativity is my drug of choice for healing right now. And I go to it like an addict goes to a fix. About four times a day I just go to my journal and draw and write. It is amazing that it actually works for something that feels this intense – to keep me present and in my body and heart.
We made arrangements for Mama to be buried in a forest. We had always planned a cremation but at one point during our visit she said – I don’t want to be burned. Then we looked at the impact of cremation on the environment and we made a choice. Be with the trees. My mother was WILD about trees. We had no memorial planned at the time of her burial due to the pandemic and the laws of gathering. Then with just a few hour’s notice, we got word we could be onsite at the burial. Surprise!
So on Day 1 of Rematriation we flew to Portland. On day 2 we hired a driver and went to a remote place in Washington to Herland for Mama’s burial in the forest. Family came, and thanks to my cousin Bridget, we all showed up to send her off in this part of her journey. I tried to see all of it as the start of the vigil, and of course, it was and is. We will have another memorial when we all catch our breath. We don’t have an official obituary to share or things like that. One day at a time. The memorial we had was spontaneous, beautiful, filled with flowers, song and poetry. I played a recording of her voice from December so we could hear her….You can listen here: Mama on the Brain
Part of the vigil is just to go slow, be present, create, and don’t be online.
That said, I am here to tell you a few things….and then I am off again for a walk in the woods with a cuppa.
- I have asked my wonderful Musea Guild to do all the live calls I was going to be on for other classes. That means we have changed the opening of Apothecary to be a little different (students should visit the dashboard). Jonathan and I will be on the closing call in May. I am excited so many of you are joining us for Apothecary – truly it will be a wonderful and healing experience to do together.
- We have rescheduled Sue Hoya Sellars Museum Show for July that was originally planned for April. Instead we will be featuring an Artist and Intentional Creativity Teacher from our community who I love, Lizz Daniels. The exhibit is a peek into her 60-day journey in which she committed herself to creating art every day and producing a stunning array of hats to express how she was coping with pandemic times. These hats were a pure joy and a laugh riot for me – she is brilliant and I cherish our connection.
I know I don’t need to apologize to you for canceling things. I know you understand. So I won’t. Instead, I will just say thank you for being my community.
Onward into Rematriation of my own soul space without my physical mother present. My mother’s love was and is astounding. Big love. She knew me and my work. She honored me. She told me I amazed her and that I was her greatest life accomplishment. I know the love hasn’t gone anywhere, just the form has changed. If time is truly non-linear that love is ever-present with me right now. My job as her daughter and a student of life is to do the work to tune into how the love feels now. To do that I have to slow down and listen. I let the energies of earth, re-mother me.
Rematriation means different things in different cultures. In seeds it is the restoration of the feminine seeds back into the communities of origin. For me, in this context, it holds the shape of allowing my mother’s seeds of wisdom, insight, love, and genius to bloom within me. Yet also – allow the ones that are not right for me to not take root. There is a discernment process here.
No matter how amazing a mama is, her projections and dreams onto her child truly shape their matrix of consciousness. So part of this for me is also, allowing my consciousness to take the shape that is right for it now – without the projection of my mother’s wishes for me or for the world. Rematriating is also taking on my own shape.
An exploration indeed. I give high and holy praise for the capacity of Intentional Creativity to HOLD this degree of self-initiation. Intentional Creativity is a big part of my relationship with Creator and Creation.
I miss my mama and I always will. The longing for her is shaping me. All of it is included. Without Sue, Carmen, and Caron the three living mothers of Intentional Creativity in form – things are moving around. I am watching them, observing, listening.
Thank you to Amber Samaya, Jenafer Owen, Sarah Mardell, Uma Mulnick, Rosie Mac, Virginia Masson, Semerit Strachan, Maia Lemann, Kami M. Pollvogt, Sumaiyah Yates and Shantini Munthree for their support during this time. Although I know there are many more hands working to make this time possible for me. Including my beautiful husband, Jonathan, who is ready for coffee :) and cafe.
I have so much more to say about this and I am sure you will hear about it in the coming months in various ways. For now, I wanted to share this with you.
Thank you for all your love, prayers and memories you’ve shared about mama. I receive them and feel your love.
My heart goes out to my stepfather Jimmie, an artist and a good man, who is navigating the loss of his beautiful wife.
With love for all of you flowing,