October Woman

She said things just happen without any sense of an underlying plan, that life is an unfair trial, in the end. I just listened. But she was fascinated nonetheless by destructive patterns. There was comfort in the old familiar going back and forth, just to be sure that the scales couldn’t possibly stay level.

It consumed her in the cool fire of her forlorn native moon. The celestial body gifted my mother with a razor mind, trapped in a frozen lake. The clouds above in the October sky parted in slumber. Nights kept quiet so that she might rest the ambivalent instrument of her fate.

She tried to accommodate our world of cognitive dissonance. It hounded on her tidy way of loving us. A purebred soul like hers couldn’t possibly meld into the world’s nastiness, so she read books instead, making time.
It took long to make her out. I could not build a coherent picture in my mind’s eye. So many pieces lay close together, as if ready to fit into each other, but no. She would scatter them again and reconfigure, compelled by a sense of fairness to the rest of us.

But her mood never fit the frame, and I found no glue, until one day, I saw her standing in front of the horse stables, staring at the October moon. Tainted in soft orange pink, the luminous lady spoke of a secret. Despair had something to do with her phases, repeating each year, almost identical, as people often do. The weighted scales would never rest.

Her message was heard as a tamed wolf howling lazily, to the music of a Celtic flute. My mother’s lonely pupils converted, the message was remembrance. Stone wind chimes hung around a forest, where the luminous lady kept cool fires burning in puddles of mute light.

Mother said she would finish with grace because it was only fair.

She handed over her grandma’s old country leather suitcase, with smooth rounded corners. Inside, I found figurines, fragrant books, poems scribbled, dainty fashion tips, and quotes. There was artsy jewelry, horses, a lucky charm made of grasses and twigs, spiders maintaining their webs in the morning, and just enough madness to keep me sane.

If in another time, we’d have met on board a train, traveling first class, reading our books. We’d discuss our reads and a nice waiter would have brought us some more tea. It would have become dark, as the trip was an all-day affair. And the October moon, the luminous lady outside the window, would have seen us through.