Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Additional birthday thoughts

Whenever I try to think of ways to deal with this kind of issue directly, I remember all the failed attempts, and also how old she is, and how she has never changed, and... well, why should she, now? ever? She doesn't have much lifespan left, and this seems to be solely my problem, not "ours", not hers - everyone else seems to get a positive vibe from her. It's me being picky, I guess... I would have thought if you're going to become somebody's mom (something I have never wanted), surely the first order of business is to fall in love with that baby and teach them through your physical presence how to fall in love with you. I think there are supposed to be hormones and pheromones that help with that. I must have missed out on transcribing receptors for those, or something, because all my life I've been horrified by the idea of bringing yet another human into the planet minus that good start.

All I have ever sensed in my own daughter-mother relationship is a Chasm, my own yearning for it to never have existed, all the bridge-building materials over on her side of it, and her not ever even having had a clue that such a chasm ever existed in the first place or that I had to learn to communicate with her myself, from the far side of it. I do not have enough objective perspective on this to know if it's just my own idiosyncratic Chasm, or if such chasm-ness is commonplace within the whole human primate species. (Something tells me it might be commonplace and that a lot of what passes as "culture" is supposed to hide it or veil it or distract it from awareness.)

This used to bother me a lot more than it does anymore, having had plenty of mom-related therapy, to do with surviving/coming alive after having been her punching bag as a child - this was known as 'spare the rod, spoil the child' in my parents' farm culture/time era. (Religion was all mixed up in it - this was a big motivation for my learning how to live without such ubiquitous mind-f***.)

Our relationship only ever bothers me on occasion, like this time of the year, the most overlapped part of the Venn diagram comprised of my birthday, my mother, me, our very carefully mapped out relationship; all the essential boundaries installed by me quaver a little bit, I feel that quaver more intensely than I should, because maybe I am more vulnerable than usual. There is no escape from this time of the year, or from the uncomfortable juxtaposition of factors. Not while she's alive. Nor while I am, probably. It's insoluble. I deep breathe, feel my/our feelings, keep moving.

I love this poem, via Art of Europe, sent me by a friend in Scotland.

This be the verse, by Philip Larkin
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
  They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
  And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
  By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
  And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
  It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
  And don't have any kids yourself.

1 comment:

caro said...

Happy belated birthday Ms.Jacobs.

Hoping one day, I can take you out for breakfast and listen to you talk for hours and hours...