Mar. 15th, 2011

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Three years ago, long about now, my mother died abruptly, though she had been dying in quiet (and not so quiet) ways for a while, before and after we noticed.

She left behind 2 and a half novels, 5 children's books (4 of which had peel-and-sticks), and a broad variety of poetry, including her (almost) epic quasi-children's poem-story, Ermengard Bear.

As the yahrzeit candle burns down, I'm contemplating what to do with her works. I like her writing, for the most part, but that does not mean there is a market for it. I kind of like the idea of tampering with it - bringing the out-of-date pieces up to date or twisting them to make the out-of-date parts work in a modern or beyond-modern world.

Yet, I am somewhat daunted. I am not among those who has every done NaNoWriMo nor even written any complete fiction longer than perhaps 10 pages (unless you count my research papers and technical writing documents). To rewrite, to undo and redo what was carefully written by my mother, may be a bigger task than I can handle - or than I really want to handle.

Yet, if I wish to give her work a longer life than my own death, something more must be done than merely having them on an unlinked, unsought, unlooked at website.

There are parts of my mother that I miss, parts that I would share given my druthers. Some of these are reflected in her writing. Some are reflected in mine.

Perhaps I can make this 4th year after her death the year in which either Moonlight in Gstaad or Fandango make there way from my own personal slush pile into the light of day (or laptop screen).

After all, I have homework that needs procrastinating from! And if anything would be a fitting tribute to my relationship with my mother - beyond my having gotten my undergrad degree on her birthday - it would be putting off my class assignments to work on her novels!

Farewell to the Court

Like truthless dreams, so are my joys expir'd,
And past return are all my dandled days;
My love misled, and fancy quite retir'd
Of all which pass'd the sorrow only stays.

My lost delights, now clean from sight of land,
Have left me all alone in unknown ways;
My mind to woe, my life in fortune's hand
Of all which pass'd the sorrow only stays.

As in a country strange, without companion,
I only wail the wrong of death's delays,
Whose sweet spring spent, whose summer well-nigh done
Of all which pass'd only the sorrow stays.

Whom care forewarns, ere age and winter cold,
To haste me hence to find my fortune's fold.

Sir Walter Raleigh


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