Friday, April 30, 2004

X2 - the Mother in Law

Your every flaw can be traced back to your mother. So too must your gifts, but they are clouded by the flaws. How impotent I must have felt I was when it came to dealing with them, that I should today feel more bitterness towards her than you.

I wonder if mothers know how powerful they are, long after their sons have outgrown their physical authority. If they should harness their influence, and if we should harness their influence: Osama's Mom, where and what the fuck are you doing? Barbara Bush, have you got a drinking problem? Ariel's Mom, seriously, don't you watch TV? Wake up, grow up the lot of you, and mind your children...

Yours might be old now, but she is not daft, and still she searches for something that is to me so obvious. It is hard to believe that she was "radical" for her time, in the now-gone-and-hard-to-imagine suffocating culture that was England's. Perhaps if she accepted how conformist she really was, she could start being truly radical.

Does she know how hard she tries to be restrained? To be polite? To appear rational and sensible at all times? As in The Dresser, to be never, ever, ever despairing? To be reserved, to be in a Church of England vicar's measure? All virtuous and Victorian values, worthy of respect to be sure, but still a mere subset of the human soul....

There is no passion in that palette of emotions. There is nothing searing, nothing burning, nothing Dionysian, nothing orgiastic. No devotional love, no tears, no ecstasy, no cosmic joy. And most of all ,there is no all-encompassing self-sacrificing love. All these things are too strong and too powerful to fit into a charcoal drawing.

I will not live in black-and-white. I know throbbing vivid colour.

Look how many people like you turn to counselling and psychotherapy, whose intellectual heritage is Calvinist Protestant Switzerland. Isn't it a wonder that they think they have progressed from being Sunday church-goers? Still looking for a way to reconcile all those other human emotions, into their minds that have been moulded by Protestant heritage. Would you and them not better study your heritage, your religious ancestry, than to confuse it with the tortured denial of Psychoanalysis, which is the fear (of mankind) that pretends to be a science?

I will not be bitter any more. I know what food is good, how to grow it, what tastes good, and how to cook. I can always add acid or tartness to counteract the bitterness, if ever there is such a shortage of decent food, that I should have to go back to that limited palette of emotions. I have known the finest foods, and I have eaten Saveloy and Chips. If I have to eat Saveloy and Chips, I do, but should I be so stupid as to prefer it? I will away....

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