Friday, October 2, 2009

Deep Thouhts Dripping in Polypropylene

For the last few weeks I have felt like my brain has been coated in plastic. With immense effort I can bend my thoughts through it, but if my efforts wane for even a moment, my thoughts are lost to me, and I end up on a freeway exit somewhere in Taylorsville, instead of my intended destination.

This is how I found myself last week suddenly approaching the entrance of a cemetery in Sandy which was several miles out of my way, and wondering if my car had actually driven there all by itself. I walked the rows with my daughter until we found the marker of my oldest and dearest friend for whom Rosie Alice is named. The stone bearing my friend's name was so much smaller than the one from my memory shaded with so much grief and guilt over time lost for petty reasons. Rosie and I picked the dandelions, made wishes, and cleared the grass clippings away. It was a nice visit, and I left feeling better than before I got there.

By the same turn of events, I was surprised to find myself driving up Big Cottonwood Canyon this evening at almost the same time my mother took the drive three years ago today. On October 2, 2006 my mother purposefully and violently ended her life somewhere in that canyon. For the first two years afterward I was barely able to drive past the mouth of the canyon. But today I felt happy to be there enjoying the colors, even though they were unfairly stunted by an early frost. When I turned around and started to drive Rosie and I back home, I was struck by the contrast of how my mother's body left the canyon that day, compared to my joie de vivre as I drove through the twists.

I feel like my plastic brain has an important message to convey through these unintentional visits: no matter how painful life can feel, with luck it is possible to turn around and return to a place of peace.