I want to make you move with confidence.
On mothers and sunlight.
I set my plants on the windowsil in the sunlight and tell them This is how you grow as if I have authority on their photosynthetic needs. I feel good about declaring their ontological status. You are a plant. I am your mother. You need sunlight to grow.
But what of my ontological status? I am a human, and a daughter, but my mother does not put me in the sunlight to grow. Her favorite plants are amaryllis’s, which she hides in the basement for the better part of the winter. They’re beautiful when they bloom, but until then she ignores them and indulges in the other pretty things she buys and collects. Her house is filled with antiques, all made more beautiful by their use and history. It’s as if she ignores her own past by surrounding herself with other stories, better stories, prettier stories.
And so the stories of her daughters, not put in the sunshine to grow, but instead systematically categorized as separate from other realms of her life. As if the whole of her life - daughters, husbands (or almost so) and antiques - couldn’t create one story that is beautiful enough, and so we separate them and pretend they are not related or connected at all. And when company comes over we don’t put the growing plants or amaryllis bulbs in the center of the dining room table. There would be too much light to make them grow there anyways.
Things That Should Be Abolished on Campus
- Crinkly wrappers of any sort
- Click-y mouses
- Loud typers
- Key janglers (mostly tall balding men with ponytails)
- People who drag their feet while wearing Uggs
- Psychology majors making asses of themselves in Philosophy classes
- People who intentionally don’t turn the lights on in their office
It’s a dangerous tendency, to only know yourself in the context of someone else.
The clothes you put me in
In hindsight, I’m not sure why I didn’t expect his mouth or his kitchen counter to be involved in my stay - not that I’m complaining about the architecture of either, to be clear.
This trip, about sixty four hours all in, was research-based. Or at least that’s what I could have said if I’d…