One of my succulents has sprung a long, strange bloomlet.
I don't think you can see its tiny flowers in the photo, but they're lovely. They reminded me of a passage from Women and Men, by Francoise Giroud and Bernard Henri Levy-
'I've got Elsa Morante's novel Aracoeli with me. Listen to this: every creature on earth is offering itself...I exist, here I am, with this face, this body, this smell. From Napoleon to Lenin and Stalin, from the lowest whore in the street to... Greta Garbo to a stray dog, this is truly the sole and perpetual question every living thing is asking every other: Do you find me beautiful?"
We had a huge party on Sunday. A kiddie pool in the backyard, all day grilling. I made a cake; icing it reminded me of my visits between classes to this painting at the Spencer Art Museum in Lawrence, KS. I wonder if Thiebaud liked to bake?
Anyway: boozy merriment, a late night. Amidst the madness, a hurried conversation in our kitchen. A good friend told me the terrible secret about his father.
It was the key to my friend's own shadow self, the reason he has done one or ten terrible things. Now he has disowned his father.
But disowning the father is disowning a portion of one's self. Denying that it exists. Fracturing the psyche. This is why his left hand does not know what his right is doing.
Yesterday, thinking about this. Our parents' personalities figure so directly into our own. And their personalities are formed of their own parents. This, stretching all the way back to the beginning. Inherited patterns of behavior; inherited archetypes.
Embracing what you are is maybe the only way to grow the line. If you know what you are and embrace it, you have a better chance of a healthy relationship. Adding a healthy archetype to the line.
And then maybe your children can break the mold, if need be. Or else build something wonderful of it.
He knows this. A few weeks ago he said his mother told him he couldn't trust himself until he knew himself, knew the truth about himself.
I think it must be more difficult for extroverts to know themselves. They are too uncomfortable with solitude to learn who they really are- their selves when they are alone. If you exist only when you are with others, you aren't an individual.
We talk about taking a long walk in the woods.
Pauline West's first novel, EVENING’S LAND, is a Library Journal Self-e Selection, winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts.
Pauline West's books on Goodreads
Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance
ratings: 27 (avg rating 4.04)
ratings: 24 (avg rating 3.46)
Candlemoth Volume 2: How To Spend It
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.40)
Candlemoth Book 3: A Twist of Fate
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.17)
Stalker: A Gothic Thriller
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)