Tuesday, March 30

Mother and Daughter

There had to be a moment when Sir's recent writings would turn from squishy rambles down memory lane.

Perhaps the ideas that surround grief and mourning are like water crystals in a cold climate.... beautiful while our hearts are frozen and our tears sublime into ice on our eyelashes, lovely while the temperature stays cold enough to make tree branches living light prisms. But soon enough comes the first SNAP of melting ice, soon enough the water's suspension through the atmospheric stratum becomes a linear movement towards the ocean.

Anger has taken many forms in Sir's life. The recent explosion was unearthed by a comment made during a drunken rant by one of Sir's friends at the Wife's birthday party. After having an evening where said Friend was generally unsociable and her partner was terribly embarrassed by her behaviour... Sir walked into the lounge to hear Friend say that Sir had 'walked into a position' at the Salt Mine in such a manner that suggested a level of contempt and resentment that Sir certainly was not expecting.

Perhaps other events have triggered the final response to this comment, but in general, Sir certainly thought of herself as the working class daughter of a migrant. Mother and Father Reeves came to Australia as 10 pound Poms, with daughter Reeves, Sir's mum, confidant and greatest admirer for many years.

The anger that was inspired by this comment bubbled over into rage.... rage at the impossibility of being surrounded by death and being wretchedly sad coupled with the rage that surfaces at one's "friends and relatives''... those ones that have never known the utter horror of grief. The kind of rage that makes Sir want to shake and shake said Friend out of her pious self pity, screaming "Shut up!! Just Shut up and get your head out of your ass!!".... and consider the situation of people around you who have lost far more than you have ever considered that you had.

What happens to the discourse between the classes when the aspirational take on the form of almost middle class? Where does one start to look at one's history and really invest in either working class or middle class? Is there a
difference between how successful people see their class aspirations? Does it change the way that we talk to each other, like Sir and Friend... or is there a moment where the relationship SNAPs and the single string of class recognition and teaching that joins us breaks?

And Sir finds her anger is so random and passionate that it must be based in grief. This idea that we somehow leave behind the people that we have lost feels like such an unfounded lie. One told perhaps to comfort our ever young daughter heart... the part of us that simply will not believe that there will never be another day, another moment, another connection, another hug, another argument. The inability to face the immenseness of the cavity that she has left in our very being... both spiritually and physically.

In the life of Friend, her mother is still a figure of immense power and authority. The kind of strict mother who is alive in our minds when we are in our teens and twenties. Before we have tried to see her as a human being, before our feelings of betrayal when we realise that she is actually only a woman made of skin and bones and muscle like us, before we look into her eyes and see the mirror of ourselves in her smile, her ambitions in our steps... before all this Mother is a huge mythical woman of Goliathical proportions. She can see all and hear all. She has the answers before we ever know the questions. She is harsh and unyielding, strict and un-reproachable.

Friend still see herself as daughter to this mother. Still in the country running away into the back paddock when things get too tough. The logical conclusion here is that Friend is still hopeful that Mother will come and find her, whisper to her that things will be alright. That there will be the change in the old lady's attitude and childhood will be restored.

But in Sir's past experience there is no real 'logical' when it comes to feelings and identities. Sir is cross with herself on some levels because she vowed she would never become involved with a woman as a friend in such a close way after 2007 and the nightmare that it was. Sir said that it was the finish, that there would be no skin creepingly touchy-feely moments. No responses to other people's expectation's, no changing behaviour to make other people feel comfortable... especially not to make other working class women feel unchallenged by Sir's random talents and intellectual aspirations.

So Sir bites the anger and chews on it slowly. Wondering the stuff that really makes up friendship. Knowing the invisible bindings of this particular moment have changed. Feeling the inconceivable emotions that are released as the ice breaks and the river flows toward the ocean again.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sir,
    I had never realised you were such an accomplished writer! I mean, your poetry was sublime and perhaps you should consider publishing it, but to blog with such loquaciousness, such passion, such emotional umph! Great piccies! A fascinating read, especially your ponderings on the nature of friendship...I may not see you as often as I would like, cara, but I like the old Irish saying about friends: " When I count my blessings, I count you twice."
    Violetta and the Little Round Italian