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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Dilemmas/ Dilemms/ Fugitive time.

The Nun's Dilemma.

"You can see exactly what a teaser it is for the nuns, angel, can't you? in their sisterly deliberations.?. " My husband blows out vapour from his E cigarette thoughtfully. ""Like will we pay the full whack ? as  REQUESTED  by the government? to" compensate" the Magdalene women?.  Like what will we get away with here? I mean what can they stick us with sisters? Oh it's a fine calculation indeed and indeed separating the wheat from the chaff, I mean, on the one hand there are those that can prove it, nail down the  long years of slavery in the laundries in a court of law. And then there are the others. The  raggedy people, sisters, the dispossessed,  the fallen, the unwanted, unclaimed, illiterate, broken, so they were. So who would doubt that such people would  seek to filch the cash from us, sisters,  traduce us,  sisters. Who would credit their shaky testimonies  in a court of law?.The law is an ass sisters.  Government's  a pushover.  Enda Kenny's a wuss.  We say no! We can't pay,  we won't pay. AND, also, and  in addition, and besides, we are elderly, infirm, sisters. God bless us and save us and gather us in..

I dare say he will soon enough, and congratulate them too for all the no account women  they helped to break, dispossess,.  And how  particularly impressed he will be that they held on to the cash they made on the backs of the raggedy people too, even in their elderly frailty. Oh, and  you can indeed take it with you, dear heart. We were all misinformed.

Minister  Rabitte's Dilemma.

"As if the poor man did not have enough real issues to wrestle to the floor, he must now have an policy on internet porn. I mean one feels for him, darling, one does". My husband has disappeared behind a cloud of e vapour now.  "But never mind.  He  has decided.  Censorship is not the answer,  an Opt In requirement  from internet providers not appropriate, no.  Never mind brave David Cameron in the UK and  the outpourings of parental fear and loathing for the toxic muck children are captive audience to. Never mind the hardcore porn  twinkling across our computer screens  to stun and entrap, never mind that it dances in on quite unrelated searches, never mind that children are the most active and constant users on the internet., never mind that parents are engaged in a desperate struggle to contain  internet use.  After all its not like drug pushers is it, minister,  giving out free stuff to schoolchildren, to hook and enslave.Oh  no. Not. Never mind that your daughters and mine, minister, must fight off the young male predators made and  unleashed, with a self image cunningly planted of sex object and slave to damn them in a loosing battle. Never mind that or the damage beyond mending , minister. Never mind, never mind..

Fugitive time.

The summer school  holidays dwindle, sucked down times' sink hole, and the autumn term is nearly on us. .The Boss phones me from the Gaeltacht, where she learns  to babble in her native tongue, breathless and brimming with stories of FUN times. Games on the beach, boys,  singsongs, boys,  ceilis,  boys.  The Irish classes the only fly in her ointment, but never mind  'cos its great, and she loves it,  and  there's like two whole more weeks,  and she's gotta go now or she'll be late for the  FUN. The boy sends me photos of the latest fine salmon he's hooked,  in heroic encounter between himself and fish. The unlikely sun graced fishing days merge into one another and there are many many still to catch.  I ask the beautiful girl if she's not bored in her summer spent sitting on the grass in the park with her familiars, tossing out drawling ironies, casting ambiguous pearls before lounging grinning boys.  Soon to be over, I tell her, and she back to school. She looks at me puzzled,  tells me " No, not bored, not over,  there's ages, there's heaps of the holidays left.  I shut up and watch Autumn come roaring in behind her, with Christmas after it, and hot on it's heels, University, ecstasy, agony, accountability, taxes, death..

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Doing what comes Naturally. Doris Lessing

Same as it ever was..............
                                                                                                                                                                  " I would have ground my heel into his foot,  I would  jabbed him good and hard with an elbow,  I would have finished him off with a slap across the back of the head. I would yes.  BUT, in addition,  I have many questions arising  Babycakes, that beg an answer I think you will agree ".   My husband takes a deep breath, girds his loins and assumes the position ( interest). We are  reading a newspaper article about Deputy Aine Collins  pulled on to the lap of Deputy Tom Barry and held there, in the Dail Bar during an all night session to debate and vote on  the Abortion Legislation.  "I mean right, first,  WHY would anyone have access to alcohol, be drinking, in the midst of THAT debate, or when voting on any pending legislation for that matter. Why? Was it because it was at night, darling?. Or...or  was the debate like over, or was he like having a break,  or was there actually debating as such ?  Was he  just like  shooting the breeze maybe before he resumed the  debating?  And if he was finished debating didn't he have to go home? Didn't he have to drive? And what about his like cognitive functioning? I mean lets see, it's late at night, he is debating, he is voting, he is tired,  and he.... what?  needed another drink? before going back into vote as he was told by the party leadership ? having first had an assurance from his local priest that he would not be excommunicated for so doing, apparently.  So,  Ok, he was not  going to need much in the way of  smarts then.  So,.... I mean,..... WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
                                            same as it ever was............................

And also SHE, why did SHE not grind her heel  into his foot, elbow him hard  into the ribs, give him a  good hard slap across the back of the.....? Why?  Can it possibly be that this kind of thing is a regular event? Do you think?  Happens all the time?  And,  with  this shower of frighteningly  anachronistic throwbacks, nobody notices. Pays it no mind basically. Because they are just that. Hidebound tribal minded men, heads wired to an old old tune, arrested in time. The club. Letting in only their own kind,  and a handful of compliant  women. ...... And don't you think THAT'S why there is so few women in politics  Dear One? I mean what red blooded, self respecting  woman could jump through those hoops? Or want to? And never mind the other reasons, Dearheart,  childrearing, work life balance, a paucity of testosterone. yadda yadda yadda. They won't let you in darling,. Not. Unless you speak their language. Lapgate is their language. There you have it. Caught on camera. Captured in light.. Yeah.

                                                                                    same as it ever was....................................

"And then, and also, Sweetest Heart,  we had Fannygate! Senator David Norris telling  female senator Regina Doherty that she is talking through her fanny, the Regina monologues ( he is a Wit!) as a press release on  abolishing  the senate in being discussed ( Brillant notion.!)  (Lets!)  He tells her and later Senator Lorraine Higgins, that THEY have only been in there a wet weekend, and HE will not apologise, is not being sexist., no.  Though, on the other hand,  he would  be prepared to debate the matter intellectually and academically. So he would. Same thing then, same old story, same as it ever was. He is speaking as he always does down the Senate.  And proud of it. "Tweet this" he says after.  It's what they  do,  how they  talk, who they are.  And he is in character, talking through his back bottom,  dribbling through his Penis. (that's for Regina)." My husband sees  the point exactly,  as the dear man always does.

                                                 But Doris Lessing knows.

In the cool of the evening I finish off Doris Lessing's book  " The Sweetest Dream" .  The ending blows me away. She wrote this book in 2001, and I, being up to my neck in infants, missed it until now. Decades ago her book Shikasta sustained me in its vision at a low ebb in my life, my inherited catholicism fluttering  useless to me in a roaring wind. This book concerns three women, starting  in the sixties. Her womens'  heroic struggle in the rearing of  adolescents was wonderfully observed and illuminating.  Sucked me in. She blamed the hardships, the messy recalcitrance of teenagers,  on  a sort of  generational derailment after the second world war,  where I have put affluence and a dodgy message of entitlement in the frame with my own sweet horrors.  Same as it ever was?  Whatever,  you are catapulted from family life in London to immediately post liberation Africa  in the third section of the book, where  her  painfully salvaged  adolescent girl, a doctor now, goes doctoring,  in a scalding story line of savage waste and boundless loss. Yeah,  Doris Lessing knows.  Knows life.  Knows women.   Knows Africa.   She knows.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

So Summer, So Shameless, No Judgement.

"So yeah  I suppose you're missing the children by, you know, now?". "Eh, well,  um. Nope. No. Not. At all"  I gain in assertion and heart  in this reply to my drinking companion, another mother, whose children, like mine are dispatched  for the holidays to be enjoyed by  their respective and well rested  fathers. "Well....right...I mean,  yeah. Um  I don't..really.. miss mine either" and we laugh ruefully, outed..

The thing is that  I don't know myself in this second week of absence. I'd swear my speech has slowed, tone dropped an octave. In fact, not having multitasked for all that time, reality has expanded around me to reveal all sorts of vistas, normally blurry and postponed. I have, ie cut a swathe through nagging bills and paperwork; applied on line  for a course in Philosophy long hankered after; had my teeth cleaned and polished; put in evening hours in the garden reading and chatting to my gratified husband whose project the garden is. I have bonded with the dog.

My husband has restored his beloved Internet Radio, my last year's birthday present, to its pride of place on the kitchen shelf, the WI FI being permanently on in this absence of the Facebook enslaved.. American, Chinese, Australian accents sing and chatter in podcasts,  a backing track in our kitchen as he puts together piquant gourmet offerings for two .No, really.

I tell him that its hardly decent to delight so in one's childrens' absence. He asks me if I realise that I never make it through a meal, a TV programme, a shower even without a  burning question, a warring escalation,   an urgent demand that cannot wait, will not wait,.must not wait. And as one of them  is done, the others, barely, lie in wait. . "Sure ",  I say," its either an arse or an elbow always"  I am a juggler of three slippery sticky balls, and that's the way they like it.

My phone is heavy and blinking  with unanswered Call Me's!  Requests for money, adjudications on disagreements with Dad, an accounting as to what exactly I am up to in their absence, no doubt. My heart is light, my head is lighter, "and after all Dearheart" I tell my wallowing spouse, "the summer's short, and life is shorter and soon, oh so so soon the autumn bounces in and  THEY'LL BE BACK"


Friday, 5 July 2013

To Hell or to Galway..

Mr Hallappanavar is to sue the Health Service Executive and the Galway hospital where his wife was left  to succumb to advancing sepsis, as she lay surrounded by doctors, nurses, and magical  medical charting. The fact that five TDs,  the majority of  elected representatives there, who voted against the very limited Abortion legislation now presented are from Galway has supported his decision, he says. Yes. Quite.

If I had standing, I would sue the Hospital likewise, and  also the Government  for this sorry, inadequate and messed up piece of legislation  ignoring as it does foetal abnormalities, conceptions following on a rape, while busy busy busy calculating how many  psychiatrists it takes to certify suicidality. Our very own Angels dancing on the head of a pin.  The holy toes well clear of  the waters of choice, a woman's right to choose.

So much thrashing about regarding suicide. It  must be included to legislate for the X case, mustn't it? But....but.. guaranteed to open the floodgates isn't it? Oh..oh... and also to encourage suicidal folk. And let's not forget all those women calculated to feign suicidality,. And now let's all jump down the rabbit hole of  medical meanderings as to whether abortion can ever be antidote to suicide. We haven't done that one yet.  Its a red herring . In Galway, in the broader  medical community, the psychiatric contingent, there is a rump hell bent on control, on preventing this decision going to the childbearer. I suppose it's Catholic, certainly Conservative, and simply elitist in mind set..

I don't know those women. The other women, in the actual world struggle, agonise, and decide about abortion. I listened ten years ago to a dear friend's account of her London  termination, an English nurse asking her sternly, insistently, why she cried as she lay on her post operative bed. "I told her that I was, yes, I was. Yes, but  it would pass. The sun, piercing the Venetian blinds made blinding  wavering bars on the counterpane, the strange London accents carried on the breeze through the open window. I remember that." And she, though lost in blackest sorrowing for a period when she returned, told me that she never regretted that decision, never quite knew if it was the sense of exile, the catastrophic hormone drop,  her body's mourning  for what had been surrendered, that made her cry so bitterly.

I wonder if we might perhaps untether Galway, let it go. Send all the crazies, the elitists, the mealy mouthed hypocrites there, to have the Catholic/paternalistic/witless country  they are due.. Offer any pregnant woman who wants to take a chance that chance. And we might live in the struggling here and now, our laws supportive of the terrible and unavoidable decision we each must make to live.