Monday, March 16, 2009

"I Have Wasted My Life"

"I'm sorry you haven't had a happy life," my mother said. She was comparing me with my sisters, all homeowners, settled, and wonderful: blond brick, gas fireplace. Then she's got the writer, for godsakes, a-comin' by with red-rimmed eyes again.

"That's not exactly true," I said. "You mean that I haven't had a normal life.

"How could I have had a normal life? I was born with a talent. I assume that meant I should use it. So I use it. Anyone or anything that tries to stop me or get in my way, I'm gone."

"That's the problem," Mom said.

I don't argue with Mom, or try to explain things. So I let her think she stung me a little. That's the price I pay for having caused her so much worry.

Thank God that writers sent quotations down through the ages to help us. There's that shocking line by poet James Wright: "I have wasted my life." What shocked people was that the line expresses not anguish, but joy. Writers understand this perfectly.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, we do.

    And I think that almost all of us have had this conversation with our mothers or family members.

    Still, I wouldn't be normal for anything.