Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lady of the Snakes

Our August book club read was the fiction book Lady of the Snakes. As you will soon read, I'm changing my approach to this blog and basically "retiring" it, so I will just go ahead and share briefly the quotes I'd marked from it (only two):

"This is what women's lives are like...It had never occurred to her--not really--that women's lives were so deeply different from men's. Now she saw it, and it shocked her."

I recall a similar moment in my own life after my first son was born--my husband went back to work and all of the sudden I was like, my whole WORLD has changed and he is going along basically business as usual. I felt like it was unfair, in a sense, to BOTH of us--me for having to undergo what I experienced as an often painful transition of self from autonomous woman to mother on my own, and for him having his own transition so ignored/unacknowledged by our culture that he was expected to just return to work like nothing had happened.

Quoting from the Russian diarist:

"In moments of despair I have felt each new child like another silken thread binding up my soul. But on happier days I see each one--not so much as a new beginning, but as a new note in a complex harmony, adding depth and resonance to a tapestry that already exists."

"Jane Levitsky sat at her desk thinking of the different moods of motherhood--joyful, oppressive, tedious. Peaceful. Exhausting."

This reminded me of something else I used to say/feel: How is it possible to simultaneously feel so captivated and yet captive, bonded and also bound?


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