My Mother's "Bird-on-the-Head" Look
Posted by

I'm new to the site and to the Mother Writer group -- She Writes just started to feature my short Xtranormal videos once a week (last week was the first week) -- so I figured I'd say hi and post a piece I wrote about my mother who died a little over a year ago. The piece ran in the NYTs "Motherlode" column back in early October, and it started out as a "Six Word Memoir" that I performed in May at the 92nd St. Y/Tribeca event with a bunch of other writers (the topic was: "Are We Becoming Our Mothers?") The piece is called "The Bird-on-the-Head Look" and it's about how I always felt my mother was looking at me like I had a bird on my head because she thought I was weird and never "got" me. As she lay dying, I realized I'd always looked at her the same way. Hard to believe I never saw that my response to her was so similar to what I'd spent most of my life complaining about in the first place, but being blind to our own behavior is part of being a flawed human being. Unraveling the giant knot that our lives become -- our stories -- convoluted, confusing, and ultimately twisted up in how we grew up seeing the world -- seems a necessary stage of life. It's part of my writing journey now and if I had to bet, I'd say it's part of most of yours, too.


I hope you'll share some of your own stories here and that we get a discussion going. In the meantime, nice to meet you.


The Bird-on-the-Head Look.


Laura Zigman

  • Thanks so much for the kind comment, Cindy. Really made my day. Good luck with your work, too!


  • This was just so beautifully written and I hope to hone my own writing skills in order to write in such a fine manner. Congratulations on a great piece of work.