Unintentionally, my mother sometimes speaks in koans, short, often paradoxical or mysterious images.
On Saturday we sat side by side in front of a window in a multi-purpose room. I had drawn up the blinds so that the whole space of glass was free of obstruction — a large, luminous gray sky framed the parking lot and line of trees. I suggested we look for crows, a bird large and dark enough for her eyes to pick up. She loves birds and horses too.
She raised her head so that she could see. We sat, my left hand holding her right hand. She is always calmer under a loving touch.
A minute or so passed in silence. We watched for crows. Then, without prompting, not as an answer to a question, but plucked from who knows where, she said that she had just seen “a false person leave through the window,” a “woman with a crooked nose.” When she said this, she lifted her left hand to her face, and extending her own bent index finger to her nose, she made a dipping motion in the air.
She was not afraid. She only reported what she had seen.
I am not superstitious, and I am not a believer in omens or signs, but when I sit with her, I wish I could see her visions and later report back what her new world looks like and who walks there. I wish that my touch opened a door.