I woke up this morning and looked for a cat. Any cat would do, although a brown gray cat who is feeling her age and is missing a back leg would be best. Or perhaps a grumpy cat whose ears fold down like thundercloud eyebrows and add to his over all grumpiness. He is so fat, he is a puddle of a cat, but he feels each touch with the gratitude of a cat who has lost much and isn't really grumpy, but is always in mourning. Or perhaps an orange kitten, who leaps and bites and loves and cant sit still unless he is in deep sleep. Or maybe it's not a cat, but a little dog who has been around cats so much she thinks she is a cat. A cat who can be loud and fast. A cat who demands the best of attentions. A cat who doesn't purr, but sings her joy in a siren's wail. A cat who prances about and is always a bit mistrustful of anyone who hasn't proved their full right to be in her rooms. Any of these would do.
Or perhaps I'm not looking for a cat. I'm so disoriented I'm unsure what exactly it is I'm missing. Maybe I'm looking for a garden of flowers and herbs and grasses. I'm looking for a deck that is weather beaten and love worn. I'm looking for a comfortable chair that is breathing in the warm breath of a summer Texas morning. I'm looking for wind chimes and quirky garden decorations. I'm looking for a warm cup of very strong coffee and the right smell of cigarette smoke. I'm looking for mosquitoes, even though I don't really want to find them, I'm sure they will find me. I'm looking for scrambled eggs and green chili and sausage.
Or perhaps I'm looking for a cool shady house. A place where the kitchen seems to be the only room that gets the sun. A place where the dim light eases the eyes into the day and apologizes for your need to be awake at all, but assures you it will make your day as pleasant as possible. It knows it can not protect you from the world outside, but everything with in will be well and good and pleasant.
No. I'm not looking for these things. I'm looking for my mother. These are not things she has, these are things she is. These are the things that have gathered about her and keep her, as I have, out of a necessity for her warmth and love and joy and earnestness and comfort and ease.
These are all pictures of my mother.