Daisy Returns to Ravenscliffe
I felt an urgency to go visit my mother. She still lives in the old century farmhouse where I grew up with three brothers. My home was and her home is in Ravenscliffe, a tiny village near the majestic beauty that is Algonquin Park. My father farmed the hundred acres until the end. He died doing what he loved best – tending to his crops and herd of woolly sheep. I hadn’t seen my mother in two years so I’m not sure why I felt so strongly that I should see her that weekend. Instinct overtook reason I suppose and I made the long trip to my mother.
Our first hours were pleasant but superficial. We went shopping, stopped at a glorious café for lunch all the while engaging in casual conversation. My life had been torn apart in the last two years. I was desperate and needed a sympathetic ear. I needed my mother to tell me everything would be all right. Unfortunately, although the years had chiselled a new Daisy, my mother had remained the same. Over dinner at the farm, I attempted to hint at the catastrophe my life had become but her trite reply left me feeling cold, “You shouldn’t let things bother you dear. No sense in letting down the rest of the world. Just act happy and you will be happy. And oh, by the way dear, did I tell you about my thyroid problem. And these headaches of mine really do seem worse this year. I should get them checked.... “. At this point every nerve was tingling and my muscles were screaming for release. “I need to go to bed, mom”, I finally blurted. If I offended her sensibilities, at that point I didn’t care. Reaching my room, I stripped off my clothes, put on my sweats, rinsed off my face and then dropped my aching body into bed. My mind was swimming with the events of that day. Tension had been my companion for so long I sometimes think I would be lost without it. I had hoped today might bring some reprieve. The events of today and yesterday and the last two years swirled in my mind feeding my companion.
I awoke to darkness, the pattering of rain on the windowpane tickling my mind into wakefulness. I needed to get back to sleep. The day with my mother had been emotional but I craved a meaningful connection with her. Was it even possible? Turning on the lantern, I climbed out of bed and rummaged through my overnight bag for the diary I knew was there. I never left home for an overnight stay without it. I intended to write out today’s experiences. Finding the diary, I flipped through the pages and stopped at this page which reflected all that had gone wrong with my life so far and all that needed to be repaired in my psyche.
September 21, 1925
I nearly destroyed my dressing mirror today. I was feeling uptight and restless – my usual state as of late. I can’t seem to let go of William. It’s been two years since he disappeared. We pledged to love and honour each other ‘till death do us part, in sickness and health. Those words always sound so permanent – like they will stand the test of time. It didn’t take long for time to run out for us. He wanted children immediately although I would have preferred to have had an extended honeymoon. As it was, two years of not so tender lovemaking but rather frustrated coupling produced no child. This knowledge lies like a stone on my soul. Pre-marriage sex was wonderful – spontaneous, passionate and tender. After marriage, William pulled a 360-degree turn. Out came the calendar. My rhythm was plotted and my temperature recorded daily. For one week every month our lovemaking was deliberate and impassive. I came to dread my mid-cycle, the sour smell of frustration emanating from William and the glare of disappointment in his eyes when it became evident we’d failed.
He left me. Why am I finding this fact so difficult to accept? He stripped me of my self-worth and dignity. I should be livid but I don’t have the strength to feel the rage his actions deserve. I still feel his aura in the apartment like a lover waiting for her beloved to return from a long absence. I see the ghost of his coat where he used to throw it so long ago. I feel the need to purge my heart of him – eliminate these thoughts and feelings with a colonic for the mind and soul. Is there such a thing, I wonder? I thought alcohol might be the solution but it only serves to keep the ingredients of my despair simmering just below the surface of my sanity.
Even in the dead zone that is my mind, I feel something give; a twinge that is feather-like but powerful at the same time. At the same moment, my mirror explodes sending glass and wood flying around me. I can’t explain how it happened and my mind is so numb that I don’t much care. I haven’t felt much like dressing to leave the house as of late anyway. I’m tired now Diary. I will end here tonight.
I closed my diary. I’d forgotten how intense that experience of so long ago had been. Clearly it still affected me profoundly even today. Every catastrophic experience in my life could be traced back to the event written about in that diary entry. I decided then that things had to change and I had to start today. I reopened my diary and started a new page.