Monday, December 21, 2009

Crazy



I read this quote on my gmail homepage tonight:

"I believe that always, or almost always, in all childhoods and in all the lives that follow them, the mother represents madness.  Our mothers always remain the strangest, craziest people we've ever met."
-Marguerite Duras (French writer)


It gave me deliberate and disturbing pause.  Enough that I didn't stop at just checking the email after feeding and bathing my four children and washing and folding the four loads of laundry that played accompaniment to our Monday afternoon.  I came here. This depository of thoughts that I call rubble and which make up the angle of my repose.



Maybe it's because, as a mother, this felt particularly true on this particular day.  Or maybe it is true because to a child whose mother never seems to give him his way or grant his every whim and yet hears her profess her undying love and devotion to him repeatedly--well, she is the strangest, craziest person.  She is.

My mom was. When as a college student living at home on the hill, I would come home carefully (and so late).  Pressing lightly on the brass handle of those heavy doors, inching it open and slipping inside hoping not to wake its sleeping occupants only to find there in the greatest living room in the world with floor to ceiling windows letting in all the night lights of the valley below a mom silhouetted against the still of it all.  Weary-eyed and warm, she waited.  I would slip down beside her as she spilled her worries all over my lap where they snuck into the pockets of my mind all the way to bed with me.  There, lying down,  I would empty them out, chew them up, wad them in tiny balls, tossing them high to hit the ceiling above me.  When they finally fell back down, they became my own.

Crazy.

It would be dangerous if mothers weren't so wise.  The mothers I know, at least.  But in their strange and crazy wise ways their children come to own themselves, their desires, and their decisions.  We feel crazy and strange grinding gratitude into our offspring.  We grow so tired teaching.  The infinity of it drives us.  All.  A little.  Bit.  Crazy.

Yet, somehow, after the "c", between the "r" and the "a" and crowding the "z" rests a smooth round pillow of sanity, which in the end helps us find the wh"y".

17 comments:

PacPaliGoulds said...

well- I have not left a comment here in a long time- and today after reading this I agree 100% with my big crazy heart! beautiful- written so well and absolutely true. I bet I will be crazier than you-- challenge!
sarah powley gould

Jen said...

You are such a clever, witty writer!

Kurt Knudsen said...

crazy maybe, but definitely wise.

Rebecca said...

Yes! Crazy! That is how I felt most of the time. But crazy in love with children. Crazy must be a requirement for parenthood--you see how few are choosing it these days.
But crazy is right next to sublime, don't you think?

Ashley Thalman said...

How wonderful to read this today! Thank you thank you thank you.

jayniemoon said...

Jordan,
Your writing deserves to be read by many many more people than read blogs.

P.S. I like your haircut.

sara b said...

Amen.
As long as we are crazy together.

p.s. your writing never fails to amaze me, friend.

Trainer Momma said...

Beautiful. I love your writing, Jordan. It validated me this morning...

Michelle said...

I remember thinking that of my mom and now recognizing my own craziness and appreciating it. My manic moods are filled with love and rushes of other emotions that drive me to at times bring out the best and the worst. I think sometimes part of the craziness is the paradox in our lives- that only comes with wisdom and children have a hard time interpreting that. I love that quote! I'm going to write it in large letters on my chalk board.

kelly said...

a way with words. a common theme among your posts.

TX Girl said...

lovely J- just lovely. It's refreshing to know I'm not the only one that feels like this.

shawna b. said...

Oh, Jordan. This is one of your best. And there are so many of your bests! Thank you for saying so well what I feel so often (but am just not very good at articulating). Thank you for this today. I have already written the quote at the top in my book of quote to be enjoyed on another day (and maybe to read to my boys when they get home from school because I KNOW they think I'm the craziest person out there!).

Rebecca said...

I agree with jayne and many others who have commented...your talent in writing is magnificent and really should be shared far beyond what this blog is capable!

We live in a Zoo! said...

Its only too true. And too bad we don't figure our mother's out until we are mother's ourselves.

olivia said...

You caused a little tear in my eye. And I can't wait to be my crazy mom.

Thank you Google homepage...

abby said...

love this so much.

Bunny said...

Lovely, and so true.