Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Last Duck in my Swan Collection

I finally threw the duck away.  This duck has traveled with me from childhood in boxes of Christmas stuff.  A ceramic duck with a couple of ducklings wearing santa hats.  Every Xmas, I pull it out of the box so that I can get to the ornaments and other stuff and then I tuck it back in until the end of the season.  Then I pull it out, pack all the xmas stuff back up and drop it back into the box.  No xmas ever have I considered putting it out on display.  It makes me nauseous looking at it.

My mother decided I should have a collection of ducks when I was a kid.  So she bought me a bunch of ducks.  Later, much later, I asked her why ducks.  She said she remembered them being swans.    They weren't.  They were definitely ducks. Most of them got lost along the way.  I remember, I used to have a really gaudy gold planter duck that I inherited from mother.  It wasn't gaudy at the time... in the 80s.  I mean, well, everything was gaudy at the time.  This duck was normal.  I also had a white porcelain set of a big duck and a small duck.  There was definitely a pattern of lots of mother ducks with baby ducks.  Oops... I just threw up a little in my mouth.

So anyways, today, I snapped a picture of the duck and then I threw it away.  The last duck of the swan collection my mother populated with mothers and babies on my behalf.  I think I took the picture out of habit... I do that with things that I don't want to keep around but that have some sort of memory attachment to them.  But really, I think when I look at the picture now, it's more an oddity than memory.  What a weird fucking thing.

Throwing this away is like ridding myself of one more vestige of sentiment I'll never revisit : I will not ever have daughterly feelings about a motherly mother; one more piece of 'polite' I have no need for : I don't need to pretend that the mother/daughter relationship has meaning outside of it's emotional value; one more expectation of society that I don't believe in : I will not grow out of it.

I thought for a few moments, as I put the dishes away, about how, rather than our relationship getting better with time, I've only become more clear about the nature of the relationship, as I make decisions involved in parenting my own son.  Then I drove to work.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


It seems like inspiration would come like a glorious flowing stream, bequeathed by the gods and sung by muses; the heavenly light shineth upon it. 

Instead, ideas spew out spray after spray from hard wrung guts, weak from heaving, over days, weeks, months. Festering beneath the surface, a seething boil of infected thought, uncomfortable in the tissue that bore it until it finally bursts forth, oozing inappropriately from its wound. I'm left panting and gasping from the effort of bearing the thought into the world. I look upon it, expecting to see greatness and find a squalling babe upon the hearth, pink, vulnerable and glistening with muck.

The truth is that truth is rarely pretty, nor is it easily won.