here first. until we are there.

pieces of everything and everyone else

i am controlled by the moon and its moods. i have lost that ability to zip through a novel, am now plodding through william gibson’s ‘spook country’ and have to write down allusions which i must look up (what is ativan? who is the flagellant messiah?) — it seems context clues are not enough and even if i have a glimmer of understanding for each strange phrase (pre-lingual memory perhaps?) my mind does not wrap itself around his prose. though the possibility of complaining that perhaps gibson is not good doesn’t seem to make sense either.
it seems to me my memory isn’t working as it should be.
it seems that i am much older now than my students. and not because i forget things, but because the intensity with which i viewed the world seems to have weakened. not necessarily a cloak of cynicism, but perhaps a big-ger window to see through. i’m not as one-tracked mind as i used to be. the world hasn’t dulled per se, but maybe my eyes have adjusted a bit more.
i watched death of memory again last night. ripe for pyschoanalysis, each character goes through a traumatic memory over and over until they realize that perhaps if they kill the one who has wounded them metonymously through a character called the keeper, they shall be free of this endless cycle of wounding and bleeding. ingenius too how the play seems to say that even in this endless cycle of memory which the characters insisit they go through and must go through, there is still something denied or ignored which keeps them from putting the memory aside and moving on. and it is by going through that most painful part, that which was kept hidden to survive perhaps, does one find salvation, rebirth.
i’ve always liked the idea that when the self (maybe the mind?) experiences trauma it can’t process, it breaks into pieces hopefully allowing some of itself to survive. the way that the most traumatic things in your life are blocked out until you can go through them again, even in dreams, even in oppressive flashbacks. we are able to heal ourselves.
but going back to the play, what i found most interesting was that even if the aggressors, the perpetrators of the trauma were men, i couldn’t help thinking that it is the absence of the mother that was actually most painful. the one who suffered incest in the hands of her father, you can’t help wondering where was her mother throughout all this. but not to seek blame. the aborted fetus and the bastard son of a wayward priest kept talking about their mothers leaving or staying, the fetus complaining of being abandoned, and somehow even the son in his mother’s indiscretion, complaining of abandonment when he would narrate of being teased in school because of his father, as if to say, why weren’t you there to protect me of that? why weren’t you a mother who would think of me when you were sleeping with the priest? even in the newcomer’s story, when he finally gets to his core memory of murdering his younger brother instead of suffering his father’s ire —– where was mother? and i think the fact that the keeper is played by a woman even if her gender may not seem important further confirms this. and of course i am uncomfortable with what i’ve said because culpability for incest, abortion or even promiscuity may seem to lie in the hands of the woman. except i know that these women were trapped in a system that told them to keep quiet or told them that they had no other choice. as were the men who were told that they could take what they wanted with no heed.
we may speak of having to kill the father (the one who bears the law, the one who rules the imaginary stage) —- but we are wounded by the separation from mother.
tiring. why can’t we just be people? hahahahaha! but going back to that original point about feeling older, as much as i wish i still felt that tunnel vision kind of obsession as often as i used to, it is nice to have a slightly wider scope of vision. even if that means that there are more gray areas, and there seems to be more spaces of loneliness.
about the wounding of being separated from the mother, i (in my hyperself-awareness) go back to mom being dead. larry and i had one of those conversations where we worked through the whole freudian concepts that the toxic patterns we seem to have with relationships (“I don’t think we know what love really is.”) can be traced back to our relationships with parents.
but what really got to me was this strange awareness of mama being gone, and not as a mourning, but as this complex ball of guilt, relief, anger perhaps that as much as i can talk about her till the cows go home (such a foreign allusion, but i love it.), i do not feel her presence as strongly anymore. i think i finally get why in all htose baduy movies where a child loses his mother, she is afraid that she has forgotten because it is not as easy to conjure the sound of her voice or the smell of her skin and the way the father copes is by telling stories. i recognize the impulse, but i also see just how it is really consuelo de bobo. that the loss, the space that she left is there and not her. and that there is nothing left to do but live with that space, that vacuum. a story may help, but it will never fill it.
it’s a strange kind of missing. because i think i really miss her now. not because she was my mom. but because she was her.

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2 responses

  1. Welcome to adulthood, Ning. It’s not as bad as it seems, thank goodness.I’ve discovered that the best way for me to cope is to embrace everything, every feeling, every experience, mine and others’, fantastic or horrendous. Embrace it, stare it in the eye, in the soul, then let go.And when, every other year or so, I lose control and have to curl into a ball and have a gut-wrenching cry, I do that too.

    December 18, 2007 at 10:18 am

  2. ning, and you say I have the one with mother issues? 🙂

    December 19, 2007 at 8:02 am

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