To write is to be in conversation with yourself, to preserve a state of being so you can conclude a sequence of thinking and feeling. The enemy to this process is intrusion. Children, in all of their beauty and wildness and strange genius, are, in the way of a meteorite, an intrusion.
— Claudia Dey, “Mothers as Makers of Death,” The Paris Review, August 14, 2018

This. This is what I’ve had difficulty articulating to myself this break, last summer, the summers before that, the decades before that.

It’s not anyone’s fault; it’s not (like a mountain) something to overcome.

It’s, oddly enough, not even dependent on the ages of said children. Which makes that no-fault clause all the more important — maybe I can now keep this in mind as I interact with my own mother.

I wonder whether this holds true for fathers, or for which fathers?


Dey also writes this:

The private actions of the mother’s mind—her scholarship, perversions, miscellany, narcissism—are swamped by the bureaucracy of parenting.

which makes me laugh with its truth even as I sort through what’s needed today, tomorrow, next Monday.

So there you have it. That’s where I am when I’m not with you: tracking the meteorite with bureaucracy.

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