my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?

8.26.2007

A Decade Past

Even the most painful episodes in life should be honored, commem-orated.

This is the time of year, ten years ago, that I ended my 14 year marriage.

All I could say at the time was "I have done as much as I can, as well as I could, for as long as I can. I cannot do this any longer."

Even though it was my decision, that I moved actively toward my dissolution, it was one of the most painful, if not the most painful, episodes of my life.

In our culture, still, marriage is held out as the manifest destiny of a woman ... her highest purpose, next to motherhood.

After all the societal gains we seem to have made in granting women full humanity, marriage still remains the goal around which most little girls build their dreams.

I was no different. I can remember moving as an automaton toward that aim ... especially after I passed the age of 30, when a new sense of urgency propels women toward attaining the legitimacy of wifedom.

It's telling that my relationship with my own mother finally solidified when I married. It's as if I became real to her once I had passed that rite. That, as a wife, she could finally see me, that we reached a level of mutual understanding that had thus far eluded us.

I wonder if that is the truth of it now. That society still withholds the badge of authenticity from those women who refuse to be bound.

God knows it is difficult to be a divorcee. I imagine it will be as difficult to be a widow.

There is something truly awful about being a woman alone.

I know that I should qualify that statement in some manner. Perhaps I should say there is something truly awful about being a human alone.

We need to be with each other. To belong to the other and to have the other belong to us. Life is with people. It took my divorce to bring that home to me. I hope never to be that isolated again.

photo: Desolation Sound, British Columbia

4 Comments:

Blogger ariel said...

"There is something truly awful about being a woman alone." - it is just true, no need to explain.

it is funny what you say about how the relationship can change between mother and daughter, I guess that is true. I can tell my mother is disappointed with me. not that she wants to be, it's just that this is not what she hoped for when I was little. finally she wouldn't really mind WHO if I got a husband, heh.

the problem with humans, we keep letting down each other.

4:01 AM

 
Blogger mireille said...

And it is ironic, Ariel. Because you are so substantive on your own. I wish our mothers could see (could have seen) that. xoxoxo

6:37 AM

 
Blogger TLP said...

I think mothers in general are afraid for their daughters and want them to have a partner. A financial partner, a partner for safety reasons, etc. What they fail to see is that women can be in greatest danger from the man closest to them.

Divorce used to have a stigma. Does it still? I don't think it does.

Remember the old slogan, "Become the man your mother wanted you to marry"?

9:09 AM

 
Blogger Doug said...

No need to qualify. Being a man alone isn't so bad. Maybe I should qualify. Being a curmudgeon alone is like being a dog with teeth.

9:30 AM

 

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