Maria T Gorman

For Sale Baby Shoes Never Worn

Are my shoes in crisis like the souls that are implanted in them.  I walk but I do not touch the beaten path that transcends a journey childless and without the glory of being in my eyes the best kid in the world, and the near to be, in everyone else’s eyes, the worst mother.  I concentrate all my walking life the moment I walked out on her and middle class life.  I went through the clinic to find a new rehab home with my walking shoes.  I have now rung emergency at 3 o’clock in the morning to stay alive.  Where did those baby shoes never worn take me in my adulthood.  They took me to the support of a medical system that saved my life and knew that to survive I’d have to walk without my family.  And their intimate wish is to be left by me too.

Like Chaim Potok in The Chosen, the Hasidic and contemporary Jews walked with their souls pounding the street together.  That is all I remember from my glory days in HSC English where I would reel off a two page best seller and the girls would notice.  I worked with a father who saw me strive to pass the exams in a way that no-one in my family strived.  Home at 4pm sleep til seven, write til eleven thirty and discuss parenting till midnight with my twin brothers.  A parenting that had adolescent issues but was from a mother who had walked the soul path of depression her whole life, and in Heaven has managed to raise five children til their mid fifties.  A family in the conflict of their abandoned middle ages.

What did I do in my daughter’s HSC.  I sat at my father’s desk and overcame my emotional freeze to write to her and summarise her English short stories all I could read.  I underlined the funniest line in Interpreter Of Maladies about the man who was not Christian in a house of Christian momentos hacking off the head of the statue of the Virgin Mary on his front lawn while his wife protested.  The high school girls thought I deserved my title as ‘schizo-affective’.

The other night in my room in supported accommodation, I wrote one thing.  ‘It is not that I don’t empathise, it is that I empathise too deeply.’ But where was I when when the cups of tea were to be poured, I was trying to be her, who’s her? my daughter Emily’s strange role model, one who sang got cold without her love and healing.

A role model without the healing of the daily touch of my daughter and my walking together souls.
“For Sale Baby Shoes Never Worn.”


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