Badger baby - I think that I need to start at the beginning ...................
Badger baby - I think that I need to start at the beginning ...................
[QUOTE=NZ primal Gwamma;1135904]Badger baby - I think that I need to start at the beginning ...................[/QUOTE]
I'm afraid I've scattered the navel gazing throughout many pages and in a non-chronological fashion. Starting at the beginning might prove tricky. There's some stuff about hydrocephalus pages back, which is probably as close to a beginning point as I can fathom.
I also, as I was strolling the streets this morning, remembered another Grandparent bon mot. After I walked in she grabbed my chin, tilted my head and said, 'well, you're not his - we did wonder.' 'His' referred to a blondish gentleman whose photo was on the table - turns out birth mother had had a husband. First I'd heard of it.
Foundation myths 1 [url]http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60211-22.html#post1032162[/url]
and 2 [url]http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60211-19.html#post1032164[/url]
My mother, the saint: [url]http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60211-19.html#post1033722[/url]
The concept of Albion interests me. Of course it's a poetic conceit, but there's a spine buried in the chalk of Britain that forms the backbone of creativity for artists as disparate as William Blake and the Romantic poets to PJ Harvey and, arguably, Terry Pratchett. And, having, grown up on chalk and clay (known locally as blue slipper) with sea salt in the air, Albion is unquestionably my framework too. It is impossible to be anywhere in England without matching it with a song, poem or novel. The country is, to me, an overlapping endless patchwork of past events and creativity. We all map psycho-geographies in our minds, English and History majors or not - the personal landmarks intersect with the bricks and dressed stone. Iain Sinclair mapped madness by walking the M25 (London's orbital) and recording what had become of Victorian asylums. I met husband at the top of the escalators (the longest in London) at Angel station, wearing devil horns on my head.
Melbourne's a grid. I know the streets of the CBD quite well now, given that I am eternally directionally inept. I can dart down lanes and triangulate myself from familiar points on the skyline. But I'm lost, adrift. Despite reading the history and a primer on Australian literature, the streets are just tarmac on the ground.
Getting caught up with the journal here... Pirate Small Boy is very cute! The quilt turned out really well - I remember you cursing it. Second saw your photo, and the first thing she said was "Badger looks like a lot of fun!" First thing I thought was "Badger is a cutie-pie!" Iggly-dee-wiggle makes for some beautiful landscape/seascape photography - I can understand you missing it.
Your birth-grandparents... I hope you don't have much contact with them. It sounds like you won't get any kind of respect or love out of them, and you don't need any more dissing in your life for anything so absolutely beyond your control as circumstances of birth and parentage. Sheesh. They don't deserve you.
And IMHO, sexual "stuff" that abused kids do - absolve yourself of any guilt. I won't discuss it, but I have a similar story in my past. I finally decided that the final guilt lies with the original abuser, not me, because as a child, I was just doing the best I could and dealing the best I could and behavior that resulted from that kind of sick "grooming" of me is/was beyond any fault of mine. It clears space in my head for my own original thoughts, plans, dreams, desires.
Otherwise, I am looking up "Albion". If you haven't figured it out yet, I am not really a reader of much fiction. If a piece of fiction lit has a lot of tortured characters, I usually shut the book. A kind of emotional weariness overcomes me. I would much rather laugh.
My dad started the whole posing with fake animals photography nonsense - he bent over and put his bottom in front of a rhino's horn and had a huge grin plastered on his face. I've - somewhere - got a very oddly posed picture featuring me and a giant badger that best friend took and then sent to my father. Hilarity ensued.
The abuse stuff - well, it does me good to get it off my chest. But what it all meant and whether blame should or should not be attached and to whom, I don't suppose a pat answer will ever present itself. That really is the story I never tell so just putting the words out there is something of a release.
More adoption stories to come. They've been crafted over a number of years, but can bear the retelling I think. Also, husband makes a heroic cameo appearance.
Albion - the poetic construct of Blighty. Nationhood expressed in art, letters and song. I was talking to husband and explaining that, to me, England has that extra dimension whereas Australia does not. I'm never reminded of a snatch of song or a line of poetry as I go about my day here; whereas at home it's a constant underlay, providing depth and texture underfoot. Crossing London Bridge? TS Eliot: 'A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many. I had not thought death had undone so many'. Walking along Bond St? Virginia Woolf: 'Mrs Dalloway decided to buy the flowers herself.' Travelling to the North on a train? George Orwell's The Road To Wigan Pier:
[INDENT]The train bore me away, through the monstrous scenery of slag-heaps, chimneys, piled scrap-iron, foul canals, paths of cindery mud criss-crossed by the prints of clogs. This was March, but the weather had been horribly cold and everywhere there were mounds of blackened snow.[/INDENT]
I know the landscape as a tapestry of literary and historical allusions that is, to me, richer and more verdant than the geography. The whole country is like that from Hadrian's Wall all the way down to Freshwater Bay on the Iggles (home of Julia Margaret Cameron, photography pioneer and Virginia Woolf's great aunt).
Please tell Second 'thanks!' And also... yes, I am! Too much sometimes :o
I'm planning a very exciting outing. FRANK TURNER is PLAYING LIVE in MELBOURNE...NEXT WEEK! My newest obsession, here. Life doesn't get any more amazing.
ETA - and I am going. I have bought myself a ticket and I shall mosh along with the Melburnians. So, so, so [SIZE=5][I][COLOR="#B22222"]very[/COLOR][/I][/SIZE] excited.
What happened to that thread? Did it get expunged from the record? Ex-beauty therapist friend used to refer to 'a knicker moustache' I've always been rather fond of mine. Anyway, I wanted to add this to the discussion of personal grooming
I'm updating my moogie* with a ton of music - Frank Turner and Amanda Palmer, I know, right, shocked!
*Moogie = MP3 player. They have a naming issue, no? Not as sexy and tongue-rollable as iPod. So. I helped. Boogie on the move = moogie. That's right, I'm changing the world one word at a time.
It's taking an age because I'm maxed out at something like 3000 songs so I have to prune as I add. Sometimes the tech just lets you down, huh?
Anyway. There's time for the second installment as things copy across.
I touched on this with the 'you're not his' comment, but some of that afternoon avec les grands was spent looking at family albums. I cannot explain to people who grew up with blood family how very, very, very wrong it is to stare at photos of strangers who look like you. My birth mother and I are i.dentical. To the extent that close, close friends (because I don't show these photos** to anyone else) mistake us. It's surreal to see one's own face, which up to that point had been reasonably unique, staring out of the decades before one was born. I was freaked out on the chintz soft furnishings. There I am again suffering through a childhood that was clearly at the back of the queue when love was being handed out. And, look, there's uncle Clive.
**my own collection arrived later and I've saved them for small boy, just in case.
So. Grandparents. Mother who looks the spit and, apparently, had an immaculate conception. Uncle.
I wrote newsy, guarded letters once a year to the grandparents (incidentally they are the same age, thereabouts, as my [adopted, actual] parents). March madness. A birthday tax.
Time passed. Jam and I broke up. Fast forward through seven years told in a precis that said nothing.
I got married.
I wrote a chatty, happy letter. Another due paid to genetic inheritance. I included photos, I felt they deserved them. Me: well, that's another story. Him: tall, dark, handsome. Guests: minimal. Location: Camden registry office. Virginia married Leonard Woolf there, I'm proud of the psychogeography; the Brompton Oratory can go whistle. But really, the wedding is not part of this story, which might explain what happened next.
A letter arrived. I think the first full letter. I read a page and decided I needed tea before broaching the rest.
You see they had been to their goddaughter's wedding. They were the guests of honour. It was a real wedding and a real marriage. Mine wasn't. They weren't there - my family, my blood (neither was his, really, but they didn't grasp that). And I didn't wear white (damn right, I didn't). That name? Not my real name (yeah, well, a name is just a squiggle in the sand, I've rubbed it out enough times to basically only answer to Badger anyway).
That was the first page.
There were more pages, but I didn't read them.
I came back with my tea. 'Where's the letter?'
Husband: 'I destroyed it.'
Husband: 'You don't need to read that. It was poison.'
He sounded shell shocked. Horrified. But you see I was used to it, resigned. My loins were girded. I was ready to read their words. Thought, I suppose, it was a duty. I never believed them, but thought I should at least give them eye time. Husband thought different. Wanted to protect me, I think.
I would never, ever countenance him doing that in any other circumstances, but just this once I was grateful that he made that decision for me.
I wrote back. Of course I did. I've never met a boil I haven't lanced. I explained in intimate detail what family means = job description. How they quit the job before I was born. What marriage means: not a wedding, not a dress, not a name. I waxed lyrical about family and marriage.
The letter was still in my drawer at work when I quit my job.
Fuck them. I hope they die in a fire. They are the reason my birth mother was/is such a profound mess...which is another story for another day.
I hope their dolls make them happy as they all go up in flames.
Oh, wow. Two things:
I think I love your husband.
One million woo-hoos for you for not letting them do any more emotional damage.
Okay, one more - a hug from me. You are doing great, badger. You know what? I think your householding stay away from Britain will be/is a very good thing to happen for you, although I suspect it will only be very clear to you in hindsight.