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OHHHHklahoma

where the wind comes

sweeping down the plain

Invaders of territory

promised

in perpetuity

to displaced Cherokees

Snatched away

leaving only the washed up

migrants

failed elsewhere

to wait on the border

wagons lined up

the pistol shot

signaling

race to take over land

repossess the stolen

broken promises

unstable

unwelcoming

environment

to raise a family

divorce

extreme cruelty

three young children

barely beyond teen age

mother

not promising soil

for raising a family

constant migration

mostly men

moving moving

looking for work

handouts

jumping on and off freight trains

not belonging

anywhere

outliers

rough camaraderie

no questions asked

ethical code of hobos

persuade runaway children

return home

he refused

age 13

jumped a freight

joined the hobos

on his way to California

Ohhhklahoma

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no writing for this blog for months

not that I’m not thinking about

my mother

my family

my brother

my sister, who recently died of cancer

my nephews

my sons

What is taking up all of my writing thoughts, time?

my father

working on a novel

based on events in his life

events I never knew about

events that appear in documents

as if he were a stranger

I am still trying to get to know him

45 years after he died Lon Hutchison young man

I have been writing

short pieces

reflections

research

notes

Scanning books

upon books

upon books

Living in a different reality

that of my father

But not of my father

I am living it intellectually

He was living it viscerally

Emotionally

Painfully

I feel phantoms

of pain

awareness of

suffering

confusion

disgrace

stigma

being shut out

being kicked out

a reject

Yet with tremendous will

to be different

in his own life

using the template

of Christian Science

 

I have to start over

I will go through his life

again

with more depth

more understanding

Organize the research

get back into the routine

of writing

 

In a university seminar

a transitional community

with people

thinking of

talking about

practicing

writing

stimulating

like a jump into a cold river

on a hot day

 

Narrative joins the dots

between facts

The story of my father

Connections to find meaning

Calling out to my father

Come home, come home

it’s suppertime

Character development

a man chooses hope

a man chooses a template

a way of life to climb out of the depths

of the snake pit

Lon Hutchison young man

 

Bette Hutchison Silver, photo taken November 2010

Bette Hutchison Silver, November, 2010

 

I wasn’t there

for her birth day

March 10 1922

How could I be?

I am her daughter

I was there

for her death day

March 1 2011

 

I was there

when she asked

am I dying?

I was there

to tell her

yes, she was dying

I was there

to tell her

not to worry

everything was

taken care of

She could go

leaving us behind

 

 

Bette Snidow Hutchison and Pamela, 1945

Bette Snidow Hutchison and Pamela, 1945

Bette Hutchison Silver (date 1996?)

           Bette Hutchison Silver (date? 1996)

How to heal a hole

in the heart –

a weak spot

placed there

two generations ago.

Lack of love

lack of caring

lack of support

passed down

and across

the generations.

Talk of

mental illness

on both sides

of the family.

Hole in the heart

or hole in the head?

Lacking love

how to pass on

what you never had?

Turning to

Father Mother God

Loving me.

Heavenly love

could not heal the hole.

Material wealth

could not heal the hole.

 

Tucacas, Venezuela, sunset

Tucacas, Venezuela, sunset

Start practicing love

Everyday love

everyday suspension

of the hole in the heart

that cried out

Me me me

Love me now

right now.

Instead

don’t cry out

don’t listen

to harsh words,

Stay neutral or positive

every minute

in every circumstance,

Do everything for

the other,

Go out in the night

walking up and down

trying to find

exactly what was requested.

Every day

positive or neutral

for one month

What happened?

The hole in the heart

was mended.

That was the turning point.

 

Tucacas Sunset, Cayo Medio, with Oil tanker

Tucacas Sunset, Cayo Medio, with Oil tanker

The others deserted

in the moment of need.

The others feared

yet more harsh words

more rejection

more pain.

The others accepted

the hole in the heart.

That was the turning point

with two hearts mended

although scarred.

That was the point

when the others

turned away,

not able to see

that the hole in the heart

could be mended

through conscious

daily love

that they had refused

to give.

And they would refuse

again and again

until the very end.

One arguing

on the very last day.

One not present

to say goodbye

forever.

Have I been true to you, Mom?
I set up my house
in Canberra Australia

Our house in Canberra, Australia

Our house in Canberra, Australia

Inspired by your house
in Kansas City Missouri, USA.

623 Greenway Terrace, when Bette Silver lived there

Bette Silver’s house in Kansas City Missouri USA

Walls covered with paintings
Family photographs                                                                                                                                                                                     on walls                                                                                                                                                                                                           on shelves
(perhaps more than you displayed)
Doll collection taking up an entire wall
Small sculptures, artifacts
Baskets, ceramics,
musical instruments

Bette's multi-colored Southwestern USA cabinet

Bette’s multi-colored Southwestern USA cabinet

Everything hand made
from
Venezuela
Mexico
Kansas City
Pakistan
South Africa
Zimbabwe
Kenya
West Papua
Australia
Afghanistan
Berkeley
China

Unpacking assorted dolls, objects

Unpacking assorted dolls, objects

Objects from your travels
My travels
Friends
Artists
Markets
Slums
Villages
Towns
Prairies
Mountains
Beaches

Bette Hutchison Silver, photo taken November 2010

Bette Hutchison Silver, photo taken November 2010

Have I been true to you, Mom?
Did I add something to your life?
To your memories?
Did I make a contribution by
listening and understanding?
Was I there when you needed me?
Have I been true to you, Mom?

How do we keep family

with us

through geography

through belief systems

through property

through money

Or today

through

facebook

digital photos

emails

blogs?

How many homes today

have printed photos

old family photos

family photo albums?

What will happen to family photos

in the future?

Will everything be online?

Will people look at their

family photos?

Every day I pass by

my family on shelves

next to my kitchen cupboard.

Old photos

When was the last one taken?

Over five years ago

The oldest one?

Not sure but

there is a photo of my

paternal grandfather

who was shot and killed

or so the family lore goes

by a jealous husband

somewhere in Oklahoma.

So that would have been

When?

Sometime in the 1920’s?

Then the photo of my father

With his sister Margery

and brother Jack

could be older.

My father born in 1907

He looks to be about 10 or 11

in the photo.

Family lore has it that he left

home at 13 and rode the rails

From Oklahoma

to San Francisco.

Photo of my brother Lon

with his wife Olivia and

our mother Bette Silver

in Mazatlan, Mexico.

Photo of Jim with his

older sister Erica

mother Hsiao Li

father Michael Lindsay

in Oxford England, 1947.

Photos of me as a baby, 1946

held by my mother

Bette Jo Hutchison

and my maternal grandmother

Irene Higginbotham.

Photo of my sons Nathan and

Gabriel with their cousin Lawrence

in Kansas City

Date? Maybe about 1989?

Can I name all the places

the photos were taken?

Kansas City, Joplin, Missouri

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Oxford, Lake District, England

San Francisco, Pajaro Dunes,

Yosemite, California

Beijing, China

Islamabad, Pakistan

Caracas, Venezuela.

Not all the family is present.

Not all the places are listed.

Family on the shelves in my kitchen, Canberra, Australia

Family on the shelves in my kitchen, Canberra, Australia

Stuff shipped from Oakland California USA to Canberra Australia Feb 2013

Stuff shipped from Oakland California USA to Canberra Australia Feb 2013

Sorting

objects

photos

documents

from

the past.

My past

My mom

My family.

Opening  an envelope

unexpected

love letter

from high school

boyfriend.

Awakening

interest

in my own past.

What else

have I

forgotten?

Assorted Family Photos

Assorted Family Photos

Tomorrow 1 March 2013 is the second anniversary of my mom’s peaceful death in her home at 623 Greenway Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.   Her grandson Nathan and myself were present to kiss her good bye.

 

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