Skip to main content

Childhood's End

I'm cleaning out my mother's apartment. She's not dead yet, but they say it's just a matter of time. And it needs to be clean before she can come out of rehab. My mother is a hoarder. My mother is a hoarder's hoarder. We've carted 2 station wagons worth to the thrift store, and this is a three room apartment. We've barely begun. I found a box of Christmas ornaments from my childhood and sat down and cried.

I'm finding it hard to function--both because it's a daunting task, and because it renders everything so futile. If we will all end up like this then why should we buy anything now. Much talk with my therapist about this. That we buy things to make us happy now--the future is the future and many people (not my mother) start to weed as they get older--finding less and less that objects are important. I am already less of a purchaser and I have never been the hoarder that my mother is. A collector, perhaps, but when things don't fit in shelves, they have to go. Zen teaches the release of all things--that even emotions are fleeting things, certainly objects are.

But added to the simple stress of cleaning an overcrowded apartment, is being face-to-face with the death of my last parent. That I must deal with all the pieces that she has used to get herself through, and that I will suddenly be no one's child. There will be nothing between myself and my own mortality. Not that there ever really is, but we lie to ourselves. My mother is 85. It's hardly a tragedy to die at her age, she is two generations removed from me, but at the same time, it is relatively early in my time with her--when friends parents are young and robust at 60 or 65 now. And I have deliberately kept myself away from her, so what years we had are lost.

My therapist says too that I cannot blame myself for that either--that I did what I needed to do to protect myself, but my guilt and stress, blame and anger does not respond to such intellectual reasoning.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Adapting a book--The Prestige

I was completely blown away by the movie of The Prestige, and I thought then about reading the novel, but it seemed too soon. So I carried the author's name around with me for over a year (Christopher Priest) and then, finally remembered to buy it through an odd sequence of events. We watched The Painted Veil based on the novel by Maugham starring Edward Norton, and while I decided I didn't want to read The Painted Veil because of it's differences from the film (which was more romantic and tragic) it reminded me that I had wanted to read Fight Club (the movie version of which starred Edward Norton) and that reminded me that I had wanted to read The Prestige (which did not star Edward Norton, but was up against The Illusionist which did). Whew...so it's all Edward Norton's fault.

The Prestige is a very good novel, and yet, the movie differs from it considerably. And I am still trying to figure out what exactly that means. The central premise is the same, AND HER…

The end of Cloud Atlas

Feel I must write this--promised it to myself, can I finish before midnight (when I said I would go to bed at 11)?

Where was I?

Oh, yes, section 5, where it gets interesting--because it's the future, at least 25 years, hopefully more. I say hopefully, because I don't want to be living in this future. The section is called "An Orison of Sonmi-451." An Orison (I had to look it up, proving I don't remember my Shakespeare) is a prayer, but in this future world where language has taken as many turns as in Orwell's 1984, it is more a confession or final statement. Sonmi-451 is a clone (as the name might suggest). The section is not entirely original. It owes much to Brave New World and Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (made into the film Bladerunner). I find it interesting that 40 or so years ago--when Dick wrote his book he believed that future slaves would be Androids, replicants. Now we are much more likely to presume they will be clones,…

Driving in Boston

Inching along in a log jam of traffic yesterday on the Mass Pike I watched an Audi a few cars in front of me weave in and out of traffic determined to find the lane that was "moving" and yet for the whole half an hour that we sat there he ended up still only a few cars ahead of me. Sure there were times his lane pulled ahead, but then mine would catch up and he would switch back. The only thing he accomplished was to make the line that much slower. There was a great article that a friend sent me years ago on the physics of traffic and it has been determined that weaving in and out of tight traffic will really gain you nothing and in fact cause the very blockages that you believe you are defying. (Sidenote--an unfortunately side effect of so much of interest on the internet is that it is impossible to store all of the articles that interest you over the years in the vague belief that you will someday want to reference them to others) The article also pointed out that if all d…