Wednesday, April 21, 2010
A License to Let Go.
I am reading Sharon Olds’ My Son the Man while walking the paths of the morning.
Sweet motherhood. I could write about it for weeks. For months. Years. It could, in fact, be the script of my life.
Yet I would miss the heart of the matter did I not realize the subtle twists of mothering. To mother my child also implies the child be me.
It seems no time since I helped Alex into his play suit, placed him in the pram, and walked towards “Mathilde”, the huge, toy adventure ship in the far corner of the park. On our way we would pass the statues: men and women and children with skin of granite and bronze, expressing inner worlds in outer bodies; Eros, The Monolith, The Wheel of life. Clustered in groups or bordering the bridge were the old and the young, engaged in love and lust, calm and conflict, wrestling themselves and others, turning, twisting, toiling.
In the middle of the bridge is the Boy, the famous little Angry Boy, frozen in an eternal cry, hands clenched, feet stamping.
Alex was familiar with the Boy. We would stop sometimes, pat his bronze fists, or stroke his cold, metal toes. We would talk to him, ask what was the matter. And when at home, the Boy was there to greet us from a poster on Alex’ bedroom wall.
Why had I brought the statue home? Was it to teach Alex something further about the art and esthetics of the park? Was it for the recognition, as in “Look, Alex, the Boy on the bridge!”?
Or was it to give him that permission to protest, to stamp his feet, to insist, persist, not to give in, give up, to express rather than keep inside all that wild and eager energy?
Or was it my own permission I was seeking, my own longing for a license to let go?