Learning from what others see

In Irish Mist, Revision on August 25, 2014 at 8:27 am

So here is a character who hasn’t achieved much of anything in her life, save for some twenty years of physical comfort by dint of marriage. Physical comfort has a cost, as does everything else. Discovering what happens when she takes a step away from the comfortable life. What happens. How.

The necessary, in fact, the essential view from the outside. Someone, last night, saying how much he loathes photos of his person. He’s not the only one. Somewhat like hearing a recording of your own voice in casual conversation or in an argument with someone. “Me?” you say. “No way, that’s not me.”

The inner, the outer. Self-definitions. I am the one who…

– caused such and such to happen

– chose to leave school

– went on sabbatical and never came back

– stayed in the boring job so I could enjoy the golden years with a decent pension

– sacrificed everything to father, mother, sister, brother, children, country… wait, I’m not finished

Meanwhile, others say: ah yes, so-and-so, the one who…

(start the list here).

In front of where I live, Saturday morning: a violent argument between a man in his mid-nineties and his daughter  I imagine to be well into her seventies. An argument so loud, with verbal abuse so violent I expected blows to follow. I told the man to stop it – after all, he was the adult, so to speak. I’m sure the argument picked up again at their home, and the man was beside himself with anger when I presumed to tell him enough already, we don’t have to listen to this kind of garbage. Why and how this relates to the character, I don’t know. Brain connections happen, then they lead somewhere or they don’t.


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