Wednesday, July 01, 2009


When I do something that is original and difficult, my own creation, if it doesn't succeed immediately I feel a blast of shame, rage, contempt and impatience directed at me. Where does that come from? I associate it with: spraining Norma's ankle at age six while putting on her sandals, the doctor ripped into me; tidying the work bench in the garage at age seven or thereabouts and my father was not pleased; his exclamation at another point, "You're meant to be an intelligent girl!"; Mrs Murphy burning my sewing because I was not doing it the way I was meant to (we had an open fire in the classroom); being punished for catching Tim's hand in the car door and knowing there was something cumulative about the anger behind the punishment. I was a bumptious child, cocky and self-willed.

I also remember the absolute conviction at age four that my father was bathing us for my mother's sake, not our own. When I think about it, he was only twenty-six.


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