Wednesday, July 11, 2012

five years ago today... mother died. I should be doing work, but instead I seem to have dedicated today to remembering her.

I am finding old photos, scanning them, posting them on my facebook page, and updating the facebook page I created for her ( I re-read an interview she had with Jan Hutchinson in the October 1988 issue of the journal Fine Line. They talk about whether her writing is autobiographical, morality in her writing, whether writing is political, women and writing, and my mother's two novels (at the time) Games of the Strong and Dancing on Coral.

copyright Nancy Crampton for Cane Hill Press
I am drawn to where they discuss how writing "mother stories" was unusual at the time (my mother had just written "The Day of the Mothers," which was included in Australian Short Stories No. 22). My mother says,
"I really like to try to write about life for women at is really is and life for single mothers. It's an extraordinary life that many of us lead with lots of pressures and responsibilities that are too easily pigeon-holed. Either you go to work or you bring up your family -- and it's not just either/or for economic and all other kids of reasons. But you wouldn't want to give up the responsibilities; they're wonderful responsibilities. It's a connection most mother's don't want to give up, the one of caring for their children. Plus, they have to work for economic reasons. And most women aren't doing work they like. I feel I'm a very lucky person that way because most women have terrible jobs and are poor. It's a very complicated area for us to write about."

Though many of her stories are dark, sometimes surreal, she says she can find a "fluffier," "lighter side" to stories with children: "Whenever you've got children, there's hope, this open-endedness, the next day, and it's delightful despite the troubles."

I'll take the words "wonderful responsibilities" and "delightful despite the troubles," and remember how much my mother loved me. And I will also think of them when my two young boys require so, so much, as children do. Despite or because of all of it, they are delightful and wonderful, the next day.