The Legend of Cloud and Her Mama, Part 2
My Mama, Caron McCloud, recently participated in one of our online classes, Leading A legendary Life. During the course there is a fair amount of writing that needs to happen — and she wrote this incredible story. The next five mondays you will get one chapter of Cloud and Her Mama delivered to your inbox. Are you ready for the insight into my creative beginnings – well here is more than you ever wanted to know! My mom, is my best friend, and I am humbled and tickled by these sharings…thanks Mom. I am super blessed and I know it.
The Legend of Cloud and Her Mama
By Caron McCloud
“All right Mama!” exclaimed Cloud with sudden exuberance as she rolled down the window on her side of the car, “Let’s get us some TRAFFIC!”
They had been playing their favorite car game which was making up a story with as many words starting with a certain letter as they could muster. This one went something like, “Shiloh says she saw seven sleazy Samoan sailors in search of sturgeon and singing silly sea songs set sail somewhere south of San Francisco into a September Saturday six o’clock sunset …” After a little over an hour on the road Cloud started slapping the outside of the car door in parody of the Goat Ropers, which is what the adolescent Anderson Valley Girls, who were called the Hot Hearts and happened to be cool, called the adolescent Boonville Boys, who happened not to be cool — with the possible exception of Abe and Zack).
Her Mom had already rolled down her window in an attempt to combat the claustrophobia that began to wage war on her just south of Santa Rosa on Highway 101. After cautiously changing lanes just north of San Rafael so that they would end up on the Golden Gate bridge and not the Richmond, she put her arm out and joined her teenage daughter in pounding the side of the car in celebration of one of their all too rare trips back to the city.
“All right!” Cloud again exclaimed in rising enthusiasm. “Smell those fumes, Mamma! Hot damn! Gets you high, don’t it, Woman?! Look at all these people zooming along! Folks got places to go and things to do!” She waved her hand out the window at their fellow ascendants on the Waldo Grade and shouted “Right on!”
“Yahoo!” they both yelled as the freeway sucked them into its large intestine along with a zillion other anonymous flying chunks of metal, and shot them, undigested, out the ass end of the tunnel, through which they (honoring three generations of tradition) held their breath and honked, and then as they exited Rainbow Land (also known as Marin County) they gasped for air and broke into song, “Open up your Golden Gate, San Francisco here we come!”
“Alright Mamma!” Cloud grinned a face full of dimples and twinkles in her mother’s direction, her long blonde hair flying. She raised her fist in a gesture of unity and sisterhood as they sailed onto the bridge,“Let’s go get us a big dose of concrete, steel, and glass!”
As they approached the toll booth to pay the admission to enter one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Cloud placed the toe of one red cowboy boot on the dashboard as though illustrating a point, and then raised her can of grape soda to her mother and issued the definitive words of encouragement to crank them up to take care of business, “Kick ass Mamma Bear!”
Cloud loved the city and she wold have liked going there more often. But sometimes when they went there she wasn’t so happy. These were the times that they weren’t just visiting, but moving back. Again. And who knew for how long. Maybe her mom would move them back to the Anderson Valley. Again. Or maybe to Marin County just back across the Golden Gate Bridge. Again. Or across the Oakland Bay Bridge. Or back to Sonoma County. Or somewhere she’d never even heard of before. Again.
But today she was just going to have a good time. She knew her mama was going to take her to that restaurant on Union Street for the beef barley soup and then down on Divisadero for gelato. They would shop at Macy’s and then they would go back where when she went to school she would know everyone and they would all be happy and running around saying, “Cloud’s back!”
~ ~ ~
Caron McCloud writes and performs poetry, and is a member of the Washington Poet’s Association where she has been a semi-finalist in the “Bart Baxter Performance Poetry” competition three out of three tmes entered, and in 2000, besides winning a “Carlin Aden Award” for her Alexandrian sonnet, Last Trump Tango, she was 1st place winner of the “Charlie Proctor Award” for her poem Holmes Ranch Hags, which she also read as the introduction for the Alice Walker/Sue Sellars event “Neighbors and Artists.” She was a participant in the “PoetSpeak Reading Series” at Frye Art Museum in Seattle, with poems published in “PoetsWest Literary Journal.” Her poem Common Ancestry was 1 of 14 of the 400 contest entries selected to be included in the poetry contest periodical, “Saltwater.” She has been a guest on several radio shows, and was a reader for the poetry collection by J. Glenn Evans CD, “Windows in the Sky,” which is periodically played in Washington on PoetsWest at KSER 90.7FM, Besides publications in various other venues she has over a dozen chap books to her credit, and has recently published RACHEL’S BAG In Search of the Qabalah of Our Mothers, a book about the radical actions of Old Testament women, for which her youngest daughter Shiloh did the introduction, the cover, and the illustrations. McCloud is currently working on a book on Qabalah, Living the Tree of Life, to be used in a workshop format.