Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday mornings, again

My brother called when I started writing this blog, "I don't know what happened. It was like there was an invisible shield in front of the phone on Friday. I just couldn't pick it up." And then he said, "I felt really terrible on Saturday. I'm just recovering today. Friday, all those little kids, eating in shifts."

I said, "I felt like I'd been hit by a truck on Saturday." He said, "Emotionally?" I said, "And physically." "Is it in the DNA?" he said. He's sixteen years older and I've taken myself to a lot of therapy and a good deal of Alanon and I know perfectly well that it's not in the DNA. We say the same thing every holiday, starting with Thanksgiving when I called him this year.

"Must have been something in our childhoods," I say. Of course I don't remember mine before our mother died when I was twelve. Though my father told me that we had meals with Aunt Marion, my mother's sister, and her husband, Roi. (Can you imagine naming a French Canadian child, LeRoi Louis?) and that there was always some squabble between the sisters.

My brother tells me that he got home from the service in 1944. "How old would you have been?" he asks. 

"I was in Paris when Bob called to tell me to tell me that Sophie...." He can't use the word 'died,' but has some euphemism. He was traveling, using an inheritance his grandfather had given him. That was in 1951. He's my half-brother. My mother's son. And he really isn't able to tell me a thing about our mother except that they took the train together to meet my father in New York where he was looking for work. It's almost as if she's been erased from his mind, also, but he'd never admit that.

I tell him that Bob, my father, told me that Auntie Marion used to squeal, "Dickie, no. My chair," when he planted his big feet and leaned back in it, the frail wood shrieking, after those holiday dinners at her house. He doesn't remember that.

He says, "I don't know what happened on Friday," three or four times and laughs about how troubled he was by the dinner down at Lenore's daughter's house with all those great-grandchildren running around. "We ate in shifts." Then he says, "I think I'll write about Friday." He never writes, as far as I know, but it would be interesting to read his thoughts.

Lenore says she had a good time, watching all the little kids run around. 

None of us mention the word Christmas.

I woke up today thinking, "Museum" which really meant, 'I have to get out of here or I'll go nuts."  I used to go to the museum many Sunday mornings, but I've pretty much gotten out of that routine. The exhibit I wanted to see is of the MFA holdings from the dig at Deir el-Bershera, a discovery of what the tomb robbers hadn't taken in Djehutynakht's tomb on March 17, 1915. The wall label said that his name is pronounced je-hooty-knocked. The audio recording sounded more like the German nacht for the last syllable. 

It also remarked on how unrealistic the female votive carriers are compared to the other group in the main room of coffins. The curator even hinted that the craftsman of those four figures had made the choices of an artist, as if the figures are similar to musical notes. 

I particularly liked the fragmented wood from one of the coffins.


  1. Your writing fragments on the page, the present to the past and back again in this strange and haunting melody. I feel so privileged to read your work.

  2. thank you, Elizabeth. I'm always grateful to see your little face in the picture next to your name...

  3. Wry and touching.

    Sunday morning at the MFA: what a good idea. I bet it's not crowded then.


  4. Haunty. I used to hide in museums.

  5. Haunty, yes....I like haunty, thank you Radish and Mim...