Epilogue to Thinking of loved ones, life & death

June 4, 2013

Some days ago I wrote I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know the people I love, in this post, and some people I love have reacted — disagreeing! My partner. He agrees we never know anyone, even ourselves, in some ways, but in relative terms he believes I know him! An old student of mine. She wrote to say she was surprised about me saying that because in her view I was one of the most receptive people she knew. She was often surprised in class at what things I knew about them!

So I’ve been mulling over this. Consequently, tonight I had a dream. My dream reminds me of a childhood chain of events: when I was a little girl, and because I was a girl and not a boy (I’m sure this would not have happened to me if I had been a boy, I mean), I used to inform my mother of who was a good person and who would hurt her. My mother was very generous and people used to use and abuse her in all kinds of ways (though she never saw it this way), so I was always trying to prevent this from happening. As it usually turned out, I was right with people — it’s really easy to detect love and kindness, or material interest in people’s approach to you, really, in my view. The irrational, illogical and unconsciously patriarchal conclusion (unconscious because my mum was a protofeminist) was that I was a witch, I could guess!, it was magic! — instead of “She can gather info and put it together and give it a useful interpretation!” The interpretation was not that I was especially intelligent or receptive in something. (Actually, the other trait of my intelligence, having a very developed imagination, was also distorted at school, of course: in boys it could be a sign of intelligence, in girls it was dangerous, always.)

Because I was a little girl “She’s a witch” was meant to be funny, but in the same way I knew that little girls have to be very careful when going on adventures on their own (I don’t mean careful about wolves, for instance, but about men and even boys), I knew that being “a witch” was a poisonous “gift”. I hated my mum saying that, especially because the focus would shift to ME and she would certainly ignore my advice. But now I can explain it: girls, little women, have been considered non-un-anti-intelligent for centuries in patriarchal societies, so if they were, it was something evil, really. Actually all patriarchal dogmas say women are inferior to men, lazy, evil, and that is why men have to control women. It’s very recent men have become real parents, fathers, and men and women have started to believe in human rights. And it’s very painful to realize how we, the species, have been able to believe that women were inferior for such a long time. This is just our beginning towards this kind of justice, of course. I mean, it’s still few of us women who can lead the kind of life I’m leading: chosing, deciding for myself, getting respect from people.

Anyway, going back to my topic. There’s something else I remembered. As a teenager I remember not wanting to look at portraits because I felt — in this adolescent radicality that later on makes us laugh in wonderment — I would learn intimate stuff about that person, when the fact was that that person was not wanting to tell me about it. 😀 Weird! But it seems somewhere in me, in that complex road to self-repression, I knew that if I contemplated the world I could find out stuff. As a teenager, I was still a girl, so this was no valuable trait I should work on. The result was that I spent my teenage in my own world, a non-stop daydreaming experience, isolated from people, not understanding anyone, not being understood by anyone, a total-exposure to the adolescent stage.

And after all that, I left my mum’s home, and started becoming my own person. It’s taken me over 30 years to realize that my problem was not that I was “a witch”, “had too much imagination”, “was in my own world”, and the things that teachers concluded when I was in primary, that I was a bit mentally retarded. My problem was that I was a girl in a patriarchal world, that is hostile and worse still, doesn’t allow people to see how hostile it is to the human beings who are born with a vagina. Hostile to their intelligences (the mind-heart), not only to their bodies. When I was thirty lots I realized far from being little intelligent, I was intelligent above the average. At least, I was someone who decided to use and develop her intelligence, which makes your intelligece richer, of course! But here — it’s now that I’m 50 I realize perhaps I had this complex, the complex of not knowing the people you love!

So — I have just realized that perhaps the feeling I didn’t know the people I loved came from a kind of trauma… ! 😀 Perhaps I’m just as able as anyone to know the people I love!! 😀

Wow! Can we really say we know ourselves?! 😉 Not as something definite, for sure. If your mind is open, you keep learning, if you keep learning, you keep evolving, changing…

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