Tuesday, July 24, 2012

3 A.M. Thoughts: Transgressions

Mom's gone. As previously discussed.

Writing was Mom's territory. It was a huge part of her identity.

I haven't been writing much.

These are not unrelated facts. I think.

If I had had any success in writing while Mom was alive, she would have tried to be happy for me. She might have been able to act out being happy for me. But she would have been furious. Writing was hers. It was a big part of what made her feel special. And Mom wasn't good at sharing specialness.

When Mom was alive, that fact didn't bother me much. When she made little remarks here and there, I rolled my eyes and ignored her. At least, I think I ignored her. I never did work much on my writing, but that's true of so many wannabe writers that it's not a big mystery that needs unravelling.

But now that she's gone and she can't defend her territory, I find myself shying away from writing. I'm still typing out long strings of paragraphs, but I'm typing them for forums, and emails, and other places that I don't think of as mine. I'm not writing any fiction at all. I'm not writing on the blog. I'm not reading books about writing.

It's OK for me to program, or garden, or sew. Mom had no particular regard for those things, and therefore she would have let success pass unchallenged. I find myself focusing on those things, because I don't have that feeling that I'm transgressing. But writing has now become a sin against my ancestors.

I need to work on this.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.


  1. You cannot imagine how closely my experience mirrors your own. Thanks for saying it so well.

  2. Oh I feel for you, but I would say that by writing you are not so much transgressing against as transcending the critical spectre of your mother.

  3. Thanks, Josephine. I really appreciated your comment; when I post these things I always imagine people staring at me in shock, then whispering to one another, "She complained about her _mother_. What's wrong with her?!"

  4. Hey, Vanessa! Hmmm; I like that idea; thank you. And I do seem to be writing again! Just on the blog, but the blog is always where it starts for me.