Thursday, February 28, 2002
Mme Kenobi, no advice more sage and elegant than that proferred by Mesdames D + E is gonna come from my callow keyboard. Beyondo, ladies. I was authentically stirred. And, heavens, visceral motion is rare at a workstation quite so drear as mine.
Blog abundantly and with feminine specificity while I'm gone to the Antipodean bush this weekend....
And DO consider my entreaty to sonic blog... Ladies requiring assistance, mailez-moi
My advice: get a vibrator.
My better advice: do NOT disinfect it with hydrogen peroxide. I cannot stress this enough.
On an introductory note, I'm Val. Hi all.
I am on the far side of life from blogsisters like Kenoki. I'll be 62 in another week or so, but that's not the only fact that puts me closer to the endings of things. I live across the hall from my 86 year old mom in a building populated by people more her age than mine. How's that for staring death in the face! Every other week or so there's an EMS truck out in front taking someone out.....
So, how do I deal with it? First of all, I have to be honest and admit that I grew up living on the second floor of a funeral home; my dad was an undertaker. That, in itself, is an important factor in my attitude toward dying. And my experiences growing up as I did will make for unusual posts someday on my own blog.
What I want to tell you now is how I manage to keep on keeping on, even though, every day, I am reminded of the impermance of things. I am not religious. At all. I don't believe in heaven or hell or even that "I" as Elaine will continue somewhere after I'm gone. What I like to imagine is that, since energy supposedly can't be created or destroyed, when "I" die, the energy that animates me will return to the cosmos in millions of tiny particles, and those particles of energy will eventually be shared among all kinds of growing things that will have lives of their own. If that's true, pieces of me go on forever. (An maybe that's what reincarnation really is.)
Well, what about while I'm here -- because that's all I believe that I have. While I'm here, I try to be here, present, engaged, animated, in everything I do, adding to the energy that is me and that, I'd like to think, will go on without "me." One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time remembering to BE.
On my weblog I quoted from a poem by Theordore Roethke that I would like read at the party (including dancing) that I expect my kids to throw to celebrate my life when I have become those particles. It ends: I breathe what I am: the first and last of all things. That's my mantra.
Read lots of poetry. Dance. Take risks. Love with passion. Face your fears as you face the wind, and hold onto someone's hand if you think you're going to blow away.
Every once in a while outside my building, I see a bent woman with a walker, walking her old three-legged dog -- walking, together, into the wind.
You will get used to it Kenoki, if you can find a way to embrace that old three-legged dog.
Denise is absolutely right. Live Now. Die Later.
So - don't. That doesn't mean you're alright with death. It means you're giving it as sound an ass-kicking as you're capable of. Get a legitimate bottle of Grand Marinier, float some on a tumbler of tequila, call it a margarita and scatter to-be-pop-in-law somewhere scenic with to-be-husband. The only consolation you have when the kick comes spinning at you decades afterwards is that dammit, you didn't squander what you had. And, oh - by the way, along the way, write. Lots. Your talent is abundantly apparent in a scant few posts. (*hey - thought you were the advice maven*)
There's a point to cover. Death. Death in family. Oh, how frightening.
I posted about this in The Asian Book of Wisdom a couple of weeks ago. I can not stand the idea of dying. I find it even more intolerable that my friends or family will (have) dematerialize (dematerialized) as well. I'm only 22. I'm somewhere in the middle of premature and prime. I've not grown as much as I think I have, and I've not experienced as much as my external life may present. So I try and prepare myself, you know? I think about my friends dying, or my family dying, and weep in advance -- so when the day comes, I'll cry like a normal person, not as I would normally, as a weeping, coffin pounding, foot stomping lunatic. Other times, I listen to this rather terrible Alice Cooper record from 1973 where, on side 2 of the LP, he sings, "I love the dead!" over and over.
I don't love the dead. I don't like anything that has to do with dying. I think it's god awful.
My boyfriend, who I share this home with, has been a practicing Buddhist for the past 10 years. I, the Japanese woman of the household, should by nature have these Zen-whatevers built in me. But nope -- I've not the strength that he has to be okay with death. Hell no, hell no, I'll not be a Buddhist. Hell no, I'll not be alright with death. It's a lovely idea, I strive to attain such purist vision, but I know it's a no-go. My fear of death eclipses any modicum of sense I may have.
His (my boyfriend's) father passed away a few years ago. Currently, Pending-Father-In-Law Gillooly lives in a 375 ml Grand Marnier bottle in our kitchen cupboard. He's up there with the dried goods and non-perishables, because otherwise the cats might knock him over in one of their nightly rampages across the flat. Even when I am most hungry, when I can't contain myself because I want junk-food or mashed potato mix out of that cupboard, I will not open it. My imagination is fixated on it being haunted just because some crummy ashes are on the second shelf.
Why am I mentioning this? Because here, on this board, I have at my disposal women of all ages -- some of whom are a bit more wise to the world due to the natural running of time. So I ask you ladies,
Am I gonna get used to this, or what? Dying, I mean.
It is linking to a site run by a man, but he's a lovely man and he made me cry. This guy has just written about the day he lost his mom and it puts my whole "I need a man and a penis" rants into perspective. Still need a penis just like before but I shall whine far less about it. Off to bed now .. nighty night my fellow sisters!
Oh Helen, the results are in: I am a pleasure orb!! Lucky me.
Girls, girls, girls. Never expected so much advice and so quickly. This Internet thing is wonderful!
Don't get me wrong; I've eaten from the bushy plate and it tasted quite sweet. Being a lesbian would solve nearly all of my problems with men, mainly because I'd be dating women. Now whilst that does sound appealing, women unfortunately lack one vital element that I need in ready supply to function; a penis. Strap-ons, dildos, vibrators etc are all well and good but they can't compete with a penis.
Maybe I just need a man, to whom I have absolutely no emotional ties, to provide the sex and a girlfriend for all the relationship stuff? This is now getting way too freaky and I think I need that drink.
Why is it whenever I join a conversation, the tone always degenerates to that of sex and other naughty deeds? :-)
Other than perfectly rational distatse for That Hussy, M Ryan.
The marine delights of Girl Love aside for a greyish instant, Britney - might I also suggest immediate adjacency to a quality implement. Before his demise from over-use, I knew my own as Mr Buzzy.
I will also suggest vengeful audio blogging as a panacea.
So, I don't know anyone here, but I suppose that's the fun of it: exercising your right to blog with people who share one common bond: estrogen. I seems -- likely the rest of you have also recognized this -- that as the years dwindle on, female camaraderie tends to do the same. (Though Ms. Razer is, respectfully, one exception -- I'm sure she too knows where I'm coming from).
Hi, I'm Kenoki!
On to my first post!
I'll start with giving advice, as I've conditioned myself to believe that it's my one purpose in life. If I can't dance, can't sing, can't play my own instruments (*any* of them, if you catch me), can't spell, nor can I walk in one purposeful direction without tripping -- I can at least inform the public how to avoid being a cluster-f__k. I've an exceptional track record of consistent failure in varying degrees -- so why not let the ladies (and gents) in on how to avoid it? If nothing else, I've earned that license.
So here it is: Miss Apple - If diving for muffs ain't your thang, try watching "When Harry Met Sally" in succession for three strait days. I did it once, upon the recommendation of The Republic of My Brain, and as a result the post-break-up effects left only laughter, sighs and relief. Nothing warms the heart more than knowing that, if nothing else, at least I never dated Billy Crystal.
I've also found it a horrible idea to date anyone who so much as has e-mail. Or furthermore, who can make any computer program function other than MS Word. Although my boyfriend is mostly redeemable for being a little smart and kind of charming, I love him most for knowing absolutely nothing about computers.
And if that doesn't work, then sweetheart, grab the best bottle of bourbon you can find, and have at it.
Excise, so to speak, the Middle Man. Transcurse the torpor of the prong, baby doll, and emerge as a Muff Diva. It's cleaner, more efficient and, I venture, a more cost effective solution when compared to similar services currently provisioned by Gent V 2.3.1.
Value Adds, such as apparel swapping, cognate desires to view drear entertainments a la Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistlestop Cafe and/or A Very Brady Christmas at Certain - and often simultaneous - Times Of The Month AND, significantly, (ahem) Climax Timeliness all augment the appeal of this end-to-end, multiport solution.
On another matter, check out what Sister Mena talks about on her blog today. I don't want to say, um, she has an unusual proclivity toward melting, but frankly, wow--melting stuff with lite brites? And your vaporizer? It makes me want to run quickly through my house finding things my daughter might use as firestarters. But then, I think it's the proclivity that makes the Mena child special. Her urge to melt. And don't we--and all our children--have those special urges?
For my daughter, as it was for me, it's carving, picking, and drawing. I remember the day I forgot what I was doing and, at 4, carved my name into our wonderful hardwood floors. Wonderful because they were hardwood, wonderful because they were expensive, and wonderful because I loved the way the wood gave way under the butter knife if I pressed hard enough. Some how, the bare wood showing "J-E-N-E-A-N-E" wasn't enough. Color. I needed color. And so, in a move that made perfect sense, I got food coloring from the kitchen, stealth mode, and brought it carefully to my bedroom, the scene of the crime, and began to paint color into each letter. It made so much sense until I was done. Then the fear crept up my spine, robbing me of the moment when I should have been admiring my creation--"Ugh oh. That's the thing I wasn't supposed to do. I am in big, big trouble."
That's where parents make a big mistake--and it's something I always remember. If it's not pre-conceived, it's manslaughter, not murder. My food-color-hardwood-floor antics, and my mattress and twin sheet drawings that followed--were never deliberate. They were what happened when I wasn't paying attention, except to my inner voice. The voice that said, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if..."
And that's the voice that keeps me blogging.
Mena melts; Jeneane draws, carves and colors.
Sorry to start my first post on a bad note but today has been horrible; I've just been dumped :-( ... need some sisterly love right about now. To make it worse, it was by email. Can you get much lower? Die men, die. Except the cute ones. And the intelligent ones. And the cute *and* intelligent ones (does such a creature exist?). Stop girl, you're being silly now.
On a lighter note, I'm Britney Apple, hello. And yes, it is my real name. No, I don't know *the* Britney. No, I haven't met her. No, we aren't related. Glad we got that one cleared up. Hi to my fellow 'Blog Sisters' too ... you must all come over for tea, cookies and other wonderful treats.
In other news, those who've asked to join this afternoon, please know I am working to add you as quickly as possible, even at the expense of my day job, which I have nearly forgotten I have. (Don't fire me if you find this, Boss man, it's a J-O-K-E.) I'll catch up this evening. Anyone who might ask to join in the a.m., be patient--I actually have to go to a client meeting for that job I have. That job I love. That job I would really hate to lose.
We are now number 3 on Daypop!
Of course, we are virtually begging for someone to start blogging the equivalent of The Man Show.* If they haven't already.
*(Warning: the following link points to a site that, if possible, is even less palatable than the television version, but the sound effects did wrest a cackle from me - much as the show itself can do - so here you go.)
Alas, for those "short-attention-span-theater" bloggers who may enjoy throwing stones at our first day popularity, HERE are snipits of some posts -- all posted by women bloggers in the last day -- which ought to demonstrate what our point is:
Again, I summarize for those who don't like reading. (For those who enjoy hyperlinking across the net, find the blogger's name in the sister roll and check out their blogs too):
From Emily: "I find the subject of gender to be endlessly fascinating, and I look forward to blogging with such delightful women! I should warn you, though, I've just returned from a week-long trip to London and am still suffering the negative effects of jet-lag, which seem to be manifesting themselves not in my physical well-being but in my mood. The remedy is clearly to consume chocolate chip cookies."
From Higgy: "It seems that, in some cut-throat corporations, executives can fire their secretaries on a childish whim.... so here I am, home with the family, collecting unemployment, and actually sleeping-in on some mornings (sleeping-in = 7:00am in this house!). I suppose this evil boss-woman did me a favor, in a way..... that work environment was terribly unhealthy and hostile (99.9% women). I'm terribly nice - almost to a fault - and I don't make waves, but I still did not survive the politics brewing there, under the surface, like hot, molten, poisonous lava."
From Jeneane: "This is where corporations will be their worst enemy. Bloggers are their biggest asset--and they don't even know it. We can be their foot soldiers. We can proudly show our ties to our companies. And when they act like asses, we can even rat them out. But no matter what we say in a public forum--a free speech forum--and no matter how counter-corporation what we say is, why would they be so stupid as to kick us out of the fold?"
From Helen "Heavens. (Meta-patriarchal, gyno positive heavens, natch.) A girl can barely break WIND in the common interval without, apparently, exceeding some implausible NDA clause. My unfetterered congrats and general swoonage, Mme Dooce, for unpicking the seams of corporate malarkey."
From Andrea: "I am weird. I grew up on a sailboat and have traveled 2/3 of the United States, visited Russia, UK, Canada, Mexico, and Australia. I like poetry by e e cummings and learning programming languages. I like retail therapy and crochet, and I like playing softball and video games. I grew up in a family where gender roles were rather loosely defined. My dad, who was raised by his grandmother, mother, and older sister, makes a much better housewife than my mom, the one with the college education and the Master's degree. Growing up, I was taught that nothing (except maybe the bathroom) should be denied me because of my gender."
From Denise: "You can't be fired because of your race, gender, national origin, disability, religion, age or pregnancy status, and you can't be fired for complaining about harassment or discrimination you may have experienced or witnessed. But, as an at-will employee you can be fired for just about anything else. There is an exception that might apply here, though. Specifically, there is a gray area that enables someone to sue for wrongful termination if they were let go for reasons that are against public policy. Terminating an employee for exercising a constitutional right - like First-Amendment protected speech - might expose an employer to this kind of liability."
I asked my mother to give me roots.
She smiled and left the cord uncut,
its far end snaking through
a lineage of cords untouched.
I clawed against its tether,
searching desperately for swords.
"I wasn't the greatest of mothers all of the time. I spent the late 1970s through the 80s (after my divorce) experimenting with who I wanted to be, professionally, socially, politically, sexually. My kids, I think, suffered in the short run from my self-indulgences. My now-pregnant-for-the-first-time 39-year-old married daughter and I have been having conversations about mothering -- mine and hers. In the long run, it seems that I managed to empower my own kids in ways my mother never empowered hers."
From Jeneane (jumping in): "So I struggle. To understand my mother, whom I love dearly, and the person she has become--the person she used to warn me about: "If I ever get to be like that you'd better tell me! And I mean it!" And the irony is stunning: I can't tell her because she's not who she was. She's that person. With 40 just around the corner for me, and 70 just around the corner for my mother, we struggle to find our new places, not wanting to hurt but not bearing to share, care, or be as we were. I'm sickened by it, but right now there is no answer."
WE are the point. Get it?
If you don't, I'm sure Mr. Dvorak could use some help on his next article. Wander over to the exciting online playground better known as PC Magazine.
Did I mention I have PMS just now?
I call our attention to a post on eatonweb, which, I suggest, is worth some thought on our part:
I look at Blog Sisters. at first, i thought it's purpose was to link to all the current female webloggers. but, i couldn't believe that someone would be attempting to list ten's of thousands, if not hundred's of thousands, of people. so i spent the next 15 minutes scanning through all the posts trying to figure out the purpose of the site. all i could gather was that it was a weblog devoted to women's issues. why is this so highly linked? there's 2 day's worth of content. half of which are posts about who linked to them and how high they are on daypop. what am i missing?
Is that our point? Points?
Ah Emily, young blogsister, you make me wish I were 15 again. Not MY fifteen, YOURS. Fifteen for me meant the epitome of 1950s repressed Catholic teenage angst driveled out as terrible rhymed poetry and frequent verbal abusings of my clueless parents. You probably can’t imagine being my age – on the verge of my first Social Security check. But you make me dream of being yours – not “again” but now for the first time.
Thanks, Jeneane, for setting up this great forum for all of us to share... what a great idea! I'm very new to blogging, and I find myself getting completely lost in my blog-jumping adventures whenever I begin to follow link, after link, after link... there are a lot of fascinating bloggers out there. :-) My name is Dawn of H I G G Y ' S :: M I N D, and I am currently a reluctant home-body, thanks to my ousting from the corporate world last month!! *my regards to Mme Dooce!!!!* It seems that, in some cut-throat corporations, executives can fire their secretaries on a childish whim.... so here I am, home with the family, collecting unemployment, and actually sleeping-in on some mornings (sleeping-in = 7:00am in this house!). I suppose this evil boss-woman did me a favor, in a way..... that work environment was terribly unhealthy and hostile (99.9% women). I'm terribly nice - almost to a fault - and I don't make waves, but I still did not survive the politics brewing there, under the surface, like hot, molten, poisonous lava. I never saw it coming!
Although I do hope to regain employment soon, I am LOVING this free-time!!! :-) So I hope to keep-on-bloggin' until Mr. Nice-Fair-Generous-Boss falls in love with my circulating resume, and rings my phone with the offer of a lifetime! *hehe* Nice to be a part of this wonderful group of women. :-)
I guess I'm asking myself that same question as I skate down the last bump of my third decade, spending much of my time in the online world. I feel a bit like I'm a teenager myself. And as much as I hated it then, I'm liking it now. I'm finding my way, a little shaky and gawky, but then there's the thrill. That ecstatic rush of becoming someone. You know? In that way, I don't think age is the same yardstick online as it is in the realworld. Here, we're all finding ourselves. We all fall, get up again, push on. We share common struggles. And it continues to amaze me every single day.
Today is one of the rare days when I, by choice as opposed to necessity, find myself awake early enough to enjoy the sunlight falling on my desk (and illuminating the various items of kitchenware there abandoned) as it only can before 11:30AM. I've been perusing this (unquestionably gifted and precocious) infant of a weblog with glee, honored to be included in such an excellent endeavor.
I don't overuse parentheses like this all the time, I promise. Only when excited.
Now that I have something down in this text field I feel significantly less anxious, so I'll re-attempt the introduction I intended to begin ten minutes ago. Hello. I'm Emily of sorryfortheinconvenience.com, and (so far) I appear to be representing the younger contingent of webloggers. My fifteen years seem laughable in this context, but I've never placed too much importance on age. I'm a sophomore in high school, have been blogging since August of 2000, fiddling with websites since 1998, and exposed to computers for as long as I can remember. Despite this, I will always prefer doing actual things with tangible people, preferably the ones who will put up with both my exuberant silliness and occasional bouts of gloom.
I have a penchant for the arts, ranging from theater to photography to sketching to a miserably love/hate relationship with writing. I adore music, but am confined to the role of listener as I haven't the discipline to take up an instrument or improve my voice (honestly, though, I'll always sing along no matter how terrible I am). I don't hold mainstream pop music very highly at all; my radio is permanently tuned to National Public Radio.
I find the subject of gender to be endlessly fascinating, and I look forward to blogging with such delightful women! I should warn you, though, I've just returned from a week-long trip to London and am still suffering the negative effects of jet-lag, which seem to be manifesting themselves not in my physical well-being but in my mood. The remedy is clearly to consume chocolate chip cookies.
I'm excited, Helen. I had no idea you had a blog--where have I been? Some vintage Razer going on over there--I added you to the sister roll. Now, I must go check out the noise among the blogs before I rush off and take our darling daughter, Baby Blogger to her ballet class. Yes, over achieving, generally anxious, usually funny girl bloggers like me do take their female offspring to ballet. And sometimes we cry as we watch them stumble and jiggle around the room in their little pink ballet shoes, like a baby swan just learning how to be beautiful.
This must be one of the things Ms. Razer hates.
Wednesday, February 27, 2002
In any case, salut to All The Honeys herein ;) I feel I ought enact a Wiccan vow. However, as an anti-essentialist who believes in little beyond regular dietary fibre, I don't have much time for the Goddess Tradition and, subsequently, no knowledge of pagan vows. Best concoct my own
- O Jeneane I proffer this, my fluid girlish tithing. I vow, before admission to the uterine circle, NEVER to employ the terms 'empower', 'positive body image' nor, indeed, 'I find the music of Sarah McLachlan rilly inspiring.'
I got five fingers. reminds me of something, an emblem. hold your hand up against the sky. if you got the same, it's a sign. corn pollen, wolf song. man and woman. I got a bright red salamander on a ball of polished turquoise shot with gold. rivulets of molten lightning running down the sky like a black onyx mirror on fire.
As for those of you who think I was stupid to post things on my website about my job and about co-workers: I refuse to live in fear. I refuse to be censored. I've lived my life far too long in fear of disrupting expectations. I made a conscious decision when I conceived dooce.com that I would never bow to the intimidation of others, including employers or pussy-ass cocksmacks who think I should just stop complaining and be a good worker bee already.
Heather, Hope You Stop By
Don't you wonder how many of us could face a similar fate once corporations get a load of what's going on out here? I know that most of them don't know--I work with them all day long, every day. They see my mug. They think blog is a cute and funny word. But they have no idea that we are thinking out loud and--as David Weinberger has said, writing ourselves into existence.... an existence outside of the corporation.
Heather's employer gets wind of her blogging and website, and corpo-paranoia goes into overdrive. There but for the grace of God...
This is where corporations will be their worst enemy. Bloggers are their biggest asset--and they don't even know it. We can be their foot soldiers. We can proudly show our ties to our companies. And when they act like asses, we can even rat them out. But no matter what we say in a public forum--a free speech forum--and no matter how counter-corporation what we say is, why would they be so stupid as to kick us out of the fold?
I look forward to digging deeper into Heather's situation and hope she stops by to get Denise's take on things. The whole free speech/net/blogging issue deserves lots more exploration.
Hang in there Heather!
Just a little introduction from me.
I am weird. I grew up on a sailboat and have traveled 2/3 of the United States, visited Russia, UK, Canada, Mexico, and Australia. I like poetry by e e cummings and learning programming languages. I like retail therapy and crochet, and I like playing softball and video games.
I grew up in a family where gender roles were rather loosely defined. My dad, who was raised by his grandmother, mother, and older sister, makes a much better housewife than my mom, the one with the college education and the Master's degree. Growing up, I was taught that nothing (except maybe the bathroom) should be denied me because of my gender. If I wanted toy trucks, I got toy trucks. I think I only ever owned one Barbie doll.
I never had a significant stigma or a struggle attached to my femininity (except for puberty, which is a horror for any self-respecting tomboy-- what do you mean I have to wear a bra?). I've always had plenty of male friends and felt comfortable with them (I think they were impressed by finding a girl who likes the Evil Dead movies and who doesn't care if someone farts, which I guess is a rarity). However, for me there's a really fulfilling solidarity to be found in female company, of any age and background. I think a unique thing happens when women get together and talk, even when they disagree, and I'm glad I can be both an observer and a participant in this particular group.
There is an exception that might apply here, though. Specifically, there is a gray area that enables someone to sue for wrongful termination if they were let go for reasons that are against public policy. Terminating an employee for exercising a constitutional right - like First-Amendment protected speech - might expose an employer to this kind of liability. The California First Amendment Coalition has a number of resources which could help, including an "e-mail your legal question" feature and a referral system to help find a lawyer versed in First Amendment issues. I woulld also urge Heather to talk to a competent plaintiff's employment lawyer in our area to see what she or he thinks (I am in the process of gathering some names).
She smiled and left the cord uncut,
its far end snaking through
a lineage of cords untouched.
I clawed against its tether,
searching desperately for swords.
I asked my father to give me wings.
He stood away,
ams pressed heavy to his sides.
“Fly, fly,” his tired voice cried.
I raised my naked arms
and walked into the wind.
I asked my husband to share
with me the things he knew
of roots and wings.
He showed me scars
where his own still strained
from deep below old broken skin.
I stumbled away,
a stolen blade tucked in my boot.
I asked my lover to show me
what he thought of roots and wings.
He climbed upon a fence
and sat away the days.
So I called the stones
to coil at me feet,
sharpened my blade to womansword,
and carved a path that spiraled
through a horizontal rain.
And the roots became wings.
And the wings became roots.
And now I flow
among the warm seas,
deep and knowing;
I rise, unbridled
light among the dust.
(And now, I go to finish getting my tax information together, and I stop monopolizing this blog -- at least for now.)
I lost my job today. My direct boss and the human resources representative pulled me into one of three relatively tiny conference rooms and informed me that The Company no longer had any use for me. Essentially, they explained, they didn't like what I had expressed on my website. I got fired because of dooce.com. ...Two weeks ago an anonymous person emailed every vice president of my company to inform them that I had written unsavory things on my personal website. I have yet to determine who sent the email or why this anonymous someone would hide behind a false email address. Conversely, I have devised several ways to torture said anonymous person when his/her identity surfaces.
I don't know all of the particulars, but perhaps Heather will stop by.
I left home at 17 to get away from her cyncism, negativism, and paranoia. I never really went back to her home, except for a few days during various college vacations. So, here I am, sitting across from the mother who has only gotten worse in those qualities I have worked so hard to keep from damaging my own psyche. Why? Because it's the right thing for me to do right now. I just hope that I survive intact.
On the other side of the sandwich, I wasn't the greatest of mothers all of the time. I spent the late 1970s through the 80s (after my divorce) experimenting with who I wanted to be, professionally, socially, politically, sexually. My kids, I think, suffered in the short run from my self-indulgences. My now-pregnant-for-the-first-time 39-year-old married daughter and I have been having conversations about mothering -- mine and hers. In the long run, it seems that I managed to empower my own kids in ways my mother never empowered hers. I made my own mistakes as a mother (and those did affect my kids) but I didn't make any of hers, and for that I'm grateful -- mostly to my therapist. Somewhere along the line I forgave my mother for not being what I needed her to be. She'll never understand that, and that's OK. I know that I've been -- and continue to be -- a better mother than she was. I have tried to respect who my kids are apart from me, and I still do my best to give them whatever support they need to become who they want to be. Long ago, I wrote a poem about Roots and Wings. If I can find it, I'd like to post it here. It's relevant.
Occasionally I hear my mother words coming out of my mouth. But I catch myself and shift myself into reverse. That's the difference between us.
My story is different from Jeneane's because my mother was never my lifeline, and I had to embrace that role for my own self early on. But our ties to our mothers, I guess, will always be there. I thought I severed mine, yet here I am; Jeneane struggles to somehow keep hers, and there she is. Our places, paved with hurts, misunderstandings, failures, and disillusionment, are not that different.
You are gonna LOVE Cixous! I often thought of your new-found enthusiasm for writing as I was reading her. amazing, wonderful stuff. you'll see...
And so will you, ladies.
As I have said to the man himself: Thanks, RB, You haven't steered me wrong yet.
Some daughers--those without the baggage of their father dying at 36, leaving a wife to raise 3 small children, me only 5--separate from their mothers a bit sooner than their third decade. I think those are the healthy situations. In my case, I remember kneeling at my bedside every evening from the age of 6 to 16, cloaked in Catholic guilt, fear, blame, worry, begging God that if he should decide to take my mother, then to please take me too. Pleading with Him not to leave me without a parent--especially without my mother. My protector, friend, lifeline. I had lost so early and hard that the knowledge it could happen again, any second, was terrifying and remains so.
I don't think I ever really stopped wishing that--even if I did stop praying for it--until I became a mother. The analogies are many and stunning. The cutting of my daughter's umbilical cord set off a chain reaction that cut me loose from my perfect-mother fantasy. And it was violent. And it was terrifying. It has been everything I prayed for it not to be. So there.
Then there was my post-partum brush with death, and how my not dying killed something between my mother and I--at the least wounding us both in places that don't heal. Maybe ever.
So I struggle. To understand my mother, whom I love dearly, and the person she has become--the person she used to warn me about: "If I ever get to be like that you'd better tell me! And I mean it!" And the irony is stunning: I can't tell her because she's not who she was. She's that person.
With 40 just around the corner for me, and 70 just around the corner for my mother, we struggle to find our new places, not wanting to hurt but not bearing to share, care, or be as we were. I'm sickened by it, but right now there is no answer.
Except to ask each of you, if we are here blogging together 20 years from now, and I get "like that," you'd better tell me.
And I mean it.
I'm hoping that my daughter, Melissa Volker, will be able to join this sisterblog. She started a blog on 9/11 but hasn't followed through-- mostly because she's now pregnant, nauseaous, and can't sit at the computer for very long at all. However, when she's up to it, I hope we will welcome her. (I'm wondering if that would make us the Blogging Family of the Year? Are there other parent-son-daughter bloggers out there?)
Hi! What a good idea. Thanks, again, Jeneane for your boundless initiative!
A Blogger discussion post looks like it provides the title code for the template and an example of how to place it.
And I couldn't help but notice the contrast between the creativity metaphor with which you identified (your quote from Cixous) and the more violent-feeling metaphors that the guys explored not too long ago. Ah, I feel like I finally found my true home in blogdom.
"A woman who writes is a woman who dreams about children. Our dream children are innumerable. The writing time, which is like reading time--there is latency, there is pre-writing--is accompanied by a child state, what Tsvetaeva calls the "state of creation." The unconscious tells us a book is a scene of childbirth, delivery, abortion, breastfeeding. The whole chronicle of childbearing is in play within the unconscious during the writing period."
Cixous' examination of writing and the experience of women was truly moving for me. You may find the book of interest. I chronicle my read of the book on allied as well.