19 February 2013
Thanks for your letter, and for all your wise and supportive words. The little ones were delightful. Lots of chuckles, cuddles and empty plates.
Oh my, intense day yesterday.
Two and a half hour class in the morning on an emotionally challenging topic: Why We Tell Stories – a sense of Self with a life narrative; Remembering the past and picturing the future. This led to answers in my case of, ‘No, I don’t know what my first word was or when I said it.’ and ‘My first memory is of standing up in my cot sobbing, gripping its wooden bars, staring through them at the yellow wallpaper and of nobody coming to comfort me.’
Brief lunch break before two and a half hours in front of a computer screen considering social media, social (online) community, and how and why writers need to learn to use them advantageously and creatively. Thankfully we had a break for tea and a maple and pecan plait, shared with Mary.
Quick turn-around, then out to see Stephen Spielberg’s LINCOLN, a film of gripping intensity with an astonishing (though do we expect anything less) performance from Daniel Day Lewis – hence the BAFTA. Might you be able to see it? Joe would enjoy it – appreciate it – enjoy doesn’t seem quite the right word.
So what’s all that got to do with my search for justice, you’ll be wondering? During the film ‘Lincoln’ said:
Euclid’s first common notion is this: Things which are equal to the same things are equal to each other. That’s a rule of mathematical reasoning and its true because it works – has done and always will do. In his book Euclid says this is self evident. You see, there it is even in that 2000 year old book of mechanical law; it is the self evident truth that things which are equal to the same things are equal to each other.
He used this Euclidian principle to illustrate his reason for pushing for the passage of the Thirteenth amendment to the US constitution – the outlawing of slavery except as a punishment for crime. He went on to say that, to him, equality meant justice, equality was justice.
And that’s what set me wondering again about what justice looks like for me in regard to the crimes my parents committed against me? I had been thinking along the lines of equality = justice, but not applying those epithets.
Remember me saying how I don’t want to be like my mother? I don’t want to cruel and vengeful, I don’t want to be equal to her, stoop to her level. Not sure I want her to be let her off the hook or avoid being made to consider, if not take, responsibility, though. But the likelihood of anything touching my mother enough for her to suddenly take and admit responsibility is fantasy land.
She’s incapable, I think. Not intellectually, but emotionally. She hasn’t lived as I’d imagine someone guilt-burdened would do. From what Will tells me, her life seems little altered since I stopped seeing her 20 years ago.
You can’t make someone take responsibility, can you? I never want to see a barrister do to anyone what was done to Frances Andrade, be they victim or criminal.
I think I can live with mother never taking responsibility because I know and because you and Joe, Fen and George, and so many others believe me and support me.
As I read about Euclid and Lincoln, I came across this: Holocaust-survivor Elie Weisel said that “to listen to a witness is to become one”. I have my witnesses, witnesses to my pain, my journey, my recovery. And you have all been the jury who returned a verdict of guilty to my mother. Would 12 strangers be more powerful an affirmation than that? I don’t think so.
The important thing in all this is that I do what’s right and best for me. Do what brings me peace.
I’m thinking about what freedom look like for me. Have I found it? Will reporting her change it? There’s something in all this I haven’t quite reached yet, but I can taste it and it has a sweetness.
I’m going to see Julie at Ashraya tomorrow. There’s more information to find out: Can I report Dad without Mum? Would mother’s name be withheld if it went to court because naming her would identify me? Would a second victim alter the odds regarding Public Interest. Rick’s death changes things a little. But more of all that once I’ve seen Julie.
I hope you didn’t scare Harley and Davidson, not to mention the chickens. Any eggs yet?
All good things, and my love