A few years after she met him at the gallery, Kishore came to my mother asking for financial help to pay for the brochures and gallery costs for his first solo show. My mother called me, like she did the time before. Then, she had bought his big painting for me. Now, she wanted me to see if I could help him. Perhaps I would buy one more.
All I can say is that fate works in mysterious ways. I had just sent my oldest off to college and I didn’t want to be clingy, so I tried not to call. I texted and when I called him, he was busy. He had new friends and he started responding to my calls with “what’s up?” There was no “mom!” No “I miss home!” If I listened long enough, I could hear laughter and voices…far away, but I would not be part of that.
So, I did the thing that most moms do to cope with grief and loss over an empty nest. I started to clean up the rooms. I threw out things by the bagful, sometimes with viciousness, sometimes with tears. I kept going—stunned that my son could disappear into a space without a trace and that lives could carry on. My husband would still drive to work, my daughter was at school and I was left with empty spaces. And so, I kept going, making even more emptiness.
Into this empty space created by throwing things—entered Kishore with his paintings. I didn’t intend to mentor him. I didn’t intend to sell his art. I thought maybe I would buy one or send his work to an Asian art gallery where I knew the owner. But, when I called the owner, his phone didn’t connect. In frustration I called a friend of mine in Washington D.C. and showed her Kishore’s painting, a vivid canvas in greens and umbers. She loved his work. Her background in art made her the ideal person to appreciate it. She chose a piece that she wanted to buy. I thought, this is perfect. How easy it is to help out someone who is so talented. I picked the perfect new patron for Kishore on the very first try. But nothing truly useful and valuable is ever that easy. And we soon hit a wall.
Kishore’s piece was in a gallery in Delhi and they refused to release it. The gallery had held on to it for over six months and would not let it go. For days Kishore took the hour-long ride to the gallery to wait outside for the owner in case she would see him. She finally agreed to see Kishore but would not release his work until he paid her the equivalent of 20 dollars. In the end, my mother loaned him the money to release the painting. My friend bought the painting, and that was the beginning. After that, Kishore and I began to work together, and gradually, the empty space in my life began to fill up with vibrant new color.
The void of a break-up, the loss of a loved one, is a liminal space. A space of transition, of patience, and of becoming. Drawn from the Latin word, ‘limen’ meaning threshold, we who are in a liminal space are on the threshold of becoming something new, a transformation from darkness to light, from grief to new possibilities. It’s challenging, this liminal space. It’s hard letting go of the old world before we can glimpse the new one. But honoring this space between two lives, two worlds, when we are right in the middle and attached to neither, is necessary, and renewing.
Blended Flower Essence Therapy for making space for you
Honeysuckle flower essence lets us go of the past—the way it grips our heart in memories that either pull us back there or stop us from going where we need to go. Sometimes making space for something different means physically making space. You might be surprised at what you start to let go of when you take this essence.
Add two drops of Hornbeam if you have been procrastinating. I’m always surprised at what I might tackle on my to-do list with a little bit of Hornbeam! Sometimes, you might discover as I did, it was not on my list, but on my mind!
Finally, Bleeding heart flower essence helps us let those we love go. It transforms the pain so that we can understand how much our capacity to love others is also built on our capacity to nourish ourselves. We love more freely and unconditionally in letting go than holding on.
This is the third blog in a weekly series that explores my search for reverence for life. What does it mean and why is it important.