rlbourges

Father figures

In Drafts on March 9, 2014 at 8:43 am

Quick-witted. Personable. Respectful of the teachings of his Church. Appreciated by his peers. Eager to make something of himself, and to give his family advantages, as he understood them. Not much in the real world matched up with his aspirations. What I remember most is his dismay, in his last years. Or maybe the dismay was mine.

He considered a bit of quality schooling a good thing for girls. Not too much of it, they wouldn’t need it. Besides, money didn’t grow on trees and the boy would need a university education. He didn’t want his wife to work outside the house; people would think he couldn’t feed his own family. Introspection was anathema. Too much thinking led to trouble. He loved math of the book-keeping kind where figures add up, or don’t. If they don’t, you redo the math until you find the mistake. Then, the books balance. God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world.

He married “up”. His wife never let him forget there was an unbridgeable gap. Whatever his tastes in music or reading, hers were a step (or many miles) beyond.

A reading yesterday afternoon at the médiathèque. La Journée de la Femme, and the chosen texts were excellent. Except for the fact the whole exercise is ridiculous. Something like trying to balance an equation by eliminating the x, y and z that don’t fit. Some of the partial truths: useful, the way extreme close-ups reveal things the naked eye didn’t see. A bit of text by Michel Onfray, for example. How all three of the Religions of the Book glorify the wife and mother aspects of women. The rest is the realm of Lillith and other fallen figures. Having men do some of the reading (and some of the choosing of texts): might lead to livelier times.

Daughters. Wives. Mothers. Fathers. Husbands. Sons. Neat. Squared. Settled? Yes, as long as you cover the unsettled parts under the thick black lines of the grid.

 

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