Thursday, March 22, 2007
"Into the Crypt"
The death of my grandfather mustered from my mother the hunger for religion which she had not needed in over twelve years. It was springtime, and all the things I had always loved about it were at risk for being dampened as if this event could make it slink back into winter. We drove to the monastery on the hill with me slumped in the backseat, face below the rise of the window watching clouds impregnate the darkening sky. Tiny pebbles pinched between tire and road made a solemn pinging noise, and I could see the dust upsurge then float away like our meager existence in time. When the car stopped, I stepped from its’ safety, embarrassed by my mother’s religious hypocrisy, and her sudden desires for atonement. My hands wrapped around the braided brass handles of the thick, heavy pine doors to the chapel of the monks. We sat in the white-walled chapel as they filed in, silent and solitary. The smell of incense burning, and the timber of their voices haunted me as they sang Vespers. I wanted to cry. I swallowed back the saltiness of my tears as a sign of solidarity to my mother in her grief for a father whose lividity stifled and squandered her. We descended to the darkness of the crypt of the Blessed Mother, and lit the candle of remembrance. She knelt onto the velvet pew with the illumination of her sorrow neatly shining on her cheeks. I knelt beside her, my arm wrapped tightly around her shuddering shoulders. I let my heart spill witnessing this vulnerability and the lifetime of emptiness that would plague her. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by The Cerebral Catalyst 1/07