Love Letter #2: I am from a small town
Does a soundtrack play for you, the way mine does for me? Do you wake up each morning shocked by the perfect clarity of the tune that plays in your mind, a flawless replication of the song you heard once or twice on Pandora before your upgraded subscription ran out. The same one you can remember only one or two verses of while awake. But asleep? Ah, asleep you have perfected the melody, nailed the lyrics, and memorized every single inflection in the background singer’s voice. It’s incredible isn’t it? The power of your subconscious mind.
Today I woke up playing “Tell Him”. A veritable Barbara in replay. A clone of Celine herself singing to myself as I woke up. I took it as a sign. I like signs. They have a way of pointing me in the right direction.
I decided to take my own advice, Barbara’s advice to Celine, and write you another letter today. On a whim, I decided to start at the beginning. Which as Maria from The Sound of Music, one of my favorite characters, likes to say, is a very good place to start.
I was born Amy Nichole Hjort on June 20th, 1974 in Arlington Memorial Hospital, in what was once the small country town of Arlington, Texas. What was once a pit stop, a desolate nothing in between the glaring Metropolis that was Dallas and her cowboy Twin brother, Fort Worth. Now Arlington is a massive concrete jungle of progress. The home of the Texas Rangers. The launching pad of the Dallas Cowboys. A big town. Big time.
Back then, though, it wasn’t. It wasn’t anything except that place where GM employees, commuters, and trailer park families lived, unable to afford the higher priced neighborhood in one the Twins. It was the home of me, the second child in an impoverished, crazy, extremely creative, and sometimes adoring, sometimes despising family.
I would love to profess, both to you and the Astrologers, that I know the exact moment this planet was blessed with my adorable face, slightly wrinkled, like a little old man’s. Barely ugly, but mostly cute. My dark, unfocused, almost blank-blue eyes, destined to become a deep brown, always too large for my face, always too sad for the smile that tried to hide how old my eyes were. My cone-head skull, pointed from the effort my brave, beautiful, and strong eighteen-year-old mother forced upon my skull as she pushed me out. Minus any pain medication. Minus an epidural. Me, an OP, Occiput Posterior, baby, born looking up at the sun. The harder way. The way I had chosen, even in the birth canal, to face life. The harder way. Looking up at my mother sooner than I should have, already poised to confront the lessons I had come here to teach myself through her Grace. The hard way. My way. My fault.
I loved my mother instantly, I am sure. If you know her then you know that everyone, from all walks of life, always does. You can’t help it. Her presence, so powerful and strong, despite a relative lack of education, immediately swirls around you. She oozes wisdom. She is strength. She is Mother. Even as a young girl, I knew she was as knowledgeable as a Sage. She would show me the way.
Today I jokingly call her “the All-Mother” certain she is the real version of Thor’s mother. Certain she has left Asgard temporarily to guide me and my wayward four brothers and sisters back home on that glowing Rainbow Bridge.
She thinks I’m kidding when I say this. Other than my wild and wacky brother, Jeremy, everyone else does too. Truth is, I am not.
We are going home to Asgard.
We are going to find it…the Rainbow Bridge, just like in the song. The rest of the dreamers, the lovers, and me. And like it not, I will drag the rest of my rouge crew of siblings with me. Poor babies, they never had a chance. Not between the mix of Frigga herself and I.
The truth…also is that no one remembers exactly what time I was born on this planet, called Earth. My Frigga, somewhere in the move between the doublewide trailer and the house on Riverforest, lost my baby book. My hammer of truth transported into who knows what realm until I could retrieve it and save all the mortals.
Man, I remember tearing her closet apart a thousand times trying to find it. The paper that would tell me, along with the help of my Rising Sun, my House of whatever, exactly what life held for me. What secret powers were beholden on me at birth. No such luck!
Darn it (notice no damn), I would have to discover all the answers to the unfolding of my fate, by myself. I’d have to play my destiny out. Turn every page without an Index to look up the meanings. I’d have to write my own dictionary. Build my own hammer.
I was doomed. OP. Going to have to play it out my way, the hard way. Ah!
My mother remembers my birth as either very late or very early, depending how you look at it…but sometime around midnightish. She knows that her screaming cries of pain, and long to follow, coos of joy, had woken the other ladies on the floor whilst I tore my way into this realm. Me the old Soul, destined to be held by the All-Mother herself.
The labor was hard. The labor was long. But we both survived intact, ready to do this again. The hard way this time. The last time for me.
I think as an infant I had already accepted that this would be my last go round. Thus the sadness in my eyes. Me, already saying a temporary goodbye to so many Livies, on the first day I had arrived. Me, so forlorn, already aware that it didn’t have to, it shouldn’t…be this way. This way of suffering. This way of nothings at all, but misery, fears, and pain.
Me, instantly aware I was different that the others. Perhaps even an alien. A stranger, for sure. A non-Earthling, most likely.
I would show these humans another way. Even if I had to do it the hard way. My way. My fault. A way of thousands, millions perhaps of us monkey-aliens, all hands held together, trying to find enough monkeys to turn the tables around.
We could find a better way. I would prove it. By paving a path. Roads built on dried up tears, held together by mortar bound in blood, sweat, and more tears. I would use my Livies to do it. I would use that gorgeous mother of mine first.
Livies… I love that term. You might recall it from A Sinister Bouquet, where Olivia, Devyn Mitchell’s three-year-old daughter, demands she be called Livie.
Why? Because she knows what it means. Livie. A word just beyond Lovie. A private word. One for her and all the other Beloveds. Livies.
Of the Sun. Livies.
Soul family. Livies.
Will never be without, could never live without, no matter what. Livies
I looked up at her, that Livie of mine, with long Crystal Gayle locks and a Faith Hill voice, and handed her my energy stream in total faith that she would do right by me until I could do right by myself.
When I think of my mother, Marsha Gail Mayo, these days I know that she was in on it from the start. She had already decided she would play her role perfectly. She would teach me things that no one else could. She would pretend to be my mortal mother. She’d play it so well that even she would fool herself.
Marsha. The All-Mother.
Marsha. My first love.
Marsha. My first Muse.
Marsha. Now they call her coach.
Marsha. A veritable master of disguise… like me.
These days she pretends she is a Gymnastics Coach, but I know better. I know she is Frigga. She is a Jedi Master teaching young Jedi-knights pretending to be young girls and boys about strength. About determination. About pushing your body where it has never gone. About doing it one more time, a thousand more times until you get it right. About saying, “Yes Ma’am.” About saying, “Hell no.”
All the things she taught me.
Marsha. My mother. The All-Mother.
The woman who took me home to Chaperito Lane in Arlington, Texas.
I can see it now. That singlewide trailer. My first home. The one with four wheels. Four wheels that would take me exactly where I needed to go.
From infant to woman.
From baby to doctor to storyteller.
From blue eyed to brown eyed.
From sleeping to awake.
From the hard way to the easy way.
From small town to back Home….After all…I am from a big town. So are you. It is a lovely place. I will take you in our dreams if you will let me. Streets of gold. Walls of flowers. Meadows so deep you will die from the beauty of them. Birds everywhere. And the people there, all of them know you. All of them love you. Love you the way I do. Forever. No matter what.
Know that until we talk or dream together again, I’ll be thinking of you. Lovely thoughts. Orange, for me. Green, for you. Always assuming the best in you, like you always do for me. Even if I don’t deserve it. Or at least didn’t….before.
I wish had known you this life…even as an infant. I am sure I would have loved you instantly. Just like I always do. Like I always have. Like I always will.
Have you ever seen that movie, What Dreams May Come? I think we are like that…always finding another way to teach each other another lesson. Right now you are teaching me patience and faith and clarity. About finding my own way. My way Home and this time…I’m going to show you and then I’m staying. Stay with me please. If you don’t, then I’ll be patiently waiting. As long as it takes my sweet, sweet friend with open arms and an open heart.
How can that be a bad thing, right?
Loving you from the first moment on… and until the next, and in every one in between.
And by the way, I finally found my baby book. Or maybe it found me?
My Mom made me a new one which she gave to me for graduation from residency and I look at it now and then wondering when I’ll finally meet you and put your picture in their too. Yes, that will be so lovely. We will pretend like it’s a new picture. Like we just met. But it’s not true…it never has been. It never could be. Nothing is ever really new. I see that now. Thank you for showing me.
-Love Me, your Livie.