Monday, March 14, 2005

Moping Around

"In Between"

One of the television programs I follow is called, "The L Word." It's about lesbians but it's so much more than women kissing. Each other. Anyway, one of the characters is an in-betweener who happens to be a writer. Last week she tried to get into an advanced-type writing class. She was promptly rejected and was told by the teacher, "You don't write fiction, you're just journaling."

Needless to say, I couldn't help but mope around with that uncomfortable notion, a canker sore in my mouth of creativity. All because of a silly drama on Showtime. Ouch. Funny to see an opinion addressing an earlier post of mine. It's a good thing I'm not schizophrenic because I might believe the character were speaking to me, about me.

I have to teach class tonight otherwise I'd whine some more, so I'll spare my blissful readers any more beating of that horse. I offer you instead an image. I'm at the computer, sitting on a typical desk swivel chair, black, M is standing right behind me on the chair, brushing my hair, making it stand straight up and out, A is standing next to me, feet on the carpet, working away on his homework, and Sponge Bob, oh dearest Sponge, is singing from a cd player.

For some reason I find this all very funny, because there was a time when I thought a woman who stayed home to raise kids was "just a housewife."

A further note on parenting. There are indeed the low points.

This past weekend, M wandered into our livingroom where I had several glass vases on the table filled with flowers she'd picked. I'd put them there for her, for her benefit, to nourish her, to fill her heart with joy, with my love for on this rainy afternoon, she found the room quiet to her taste. She found if she banged the vases together they made a most delicious, musical sound. I heard her, I heard the pitched tone and the first time I wasn't sure what the sound was. I headed towards the second sound I heard and suddenly it dawned on me what she was doing and I yelled for her to stop! In two steps I was there and there was M, her fingers in her mouth, and this little green vase from my mother broken. I was too late. The vase wasn't the only thing broken, my heart was. I scolded M, sent her to her room. Later I told her she could have gotten hurt. I also told her the vase was special to me and now it was lost. Nothing I say about how sad I am over it will she be able to fully grasp.

A painful moment, a learning one for her I hope, but one I'd rather neither of us have had.


nappy40 said...

About the broken vase--what do you do with the grief? This has happened to me before. My favorite niece broke something very special to me--a small trinket given to me by a special friend. She thought it was a toy, played with it and it's gone. What to do with that feeling?

Tamar said...

All the "necessary losses" that make up who we are. When I left Israel to come to the U.S. seventeen years ago for reasons which I won't go into here, I left all my home - came here almost like a refugee in some respects. Strange how those "things" just start to lose importance to the importance of relationships when one does that!

Adriana - I love this post. The picture you describe of M, A and Sponge Bob - gorgeous! You are giving me material for many classes that I will teach again in the Fall!

Oh, and by the way - journaling is so much richer than fiction - so often.

newspell said...

my grandmother gave me something a while back... it was a piece of paper with my name written on it... she said that even if i lost everything in the world, no one could ever take away the power of my name.

thinking back on it now, i realize that people in her generation put so much more stock into who you were vs. what you have.

you always make me think...

narrator said...

I've lost many things. Fewer and fewer seem important, but in the moment, that mix of childhood innocence and real loss is painful.

franchini said...

Hi Adriana. I came here via Tamar's In and Out of Confidence. My son also broke a vase recently which had a significance for me - I associated it particularly with the periods immediately after each of my children were born. I was upset at the time it broke but I must have forgotten it because as I was reading your post I was thinking "D. (said son) broke something I cared about a few weeks what was it? Oh yeah...that purple vase".

We have just discovered SpongeBob -love it.

Adriana Bliss said...

After reading the lovely posts here, I suppose the grief of losing a "thing" will vary according to the sentimentality - perhaps, too, the level of grief will lessen the further along you are in dealing with the underlying emotion.

To this day, anything belonging to my parents that is lost is tremendously painful - first, I haven't reached a personal age of true inner enlightment (meaning I foresee a time when things will mean less, period); second, I have not managed to put the deaths of my parents in a comfortable place, meaning the "things" scratch at the open wounds of their deaths that live in my psyche.'s that for some self-analysis? :) Thank you so much for the very thoughtful posts here!

hokkaidoabbey said...

Hi Adriana,

As usual, your posts are warm, enjoyable and interesting to read.

Without taking any position on the relative merits of journaling or fiction-writing, your post made me remember Kafka's journals. Within the hail-storm of fragmentary observations, good humor, mundane events, sexual anxiety and paternal hatred were tons and tons of practice sessions for text that would later appear in his novels and short stories. Some of the uncompleted material in his journals was altered (improved, Kafka appeared to believe)in the drafts of his three (uncompleted) novels, but was actually superior (in my opinion, anyway) to the versions he chose to insert in his novels.

The line between "journals" and "fiction" is not stable, and it's hard to say which is preparation for which.