At the Great Divide
I've read many stories of revenants and apparitions, but my ghosts merely disappear. I never see them. They haunt me by not being there, by the table where no one eats, the empty window that lets the sun in without a shadow.
Few memories give me a sense of my childhood--perhaps, later, more will surface. Among those few is the darkened room from which proceed my mother's moans. This is not a particular moment that I remember; it is the background of many years, nearly all my early life. She moans for so many reasons that it will be difficult more than to suggest their range. Probably I am ignorant of her more exquisite pains. I know enough not to make light of lamentations.
Sometimes I could get her to play the piano. She sat at the battered old upright, her eyes shut, picking out what she could remember of a Chopin polonaise or some cheap waltz from 1920. And then--what really moved her--"Brilliant Variations," by someone named Butler, or "Pass Me Not" or other hymn. I was fascinated by the way she kept her eyes closed. To glance at the music, just as to read a paragraph of print, gave her migranes.
-From Light While There Is Light
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