Monday, June 21, 2010

Dearest Michaela, Where do I Begin? (One Hecate of a Scholarly Lesbian Romance, Judith Katzir's "Dearest Anne: A Tale of Impossible Love")

I finished the book last night (Dearest Anne: A Tale of Impossible Love by Judith Katzir). That sure was a fast, engaging, mind-blowing yet tender (Kindle-)read.

It wasn't impossible love. Maybe transitional love? Or, like every other kind of love, momentary love?

The love was possible. The love was made. The love was executed. The love faded or remained or evolved and changed...can you see me talking through my confliction, as though I am sitting in a counselor's office (for the fourth or fifth time).

The initial hopes and dreams were not even impossible; if both parties were committed to the desire to be together in the future, I believe it could have worked. But it didn't work out because of time and proximity and personal growth.

I really enjoyed the critical essays in the Afterward. It IS frustrating to me that Rivi transitioned into a traditional lifestyle whereas Michaela continued to be driven by some lesbianish need for the worship of inquisitive female students and ended up in a marriage of lies, with an autistic son and a deadly form of cancer. Why could Michaela not have risen above her past mistakes (that is: marrying a man and having a child with him) in order to be her true self?

Oh wait, I know: because Michaela is not Jessica's puppet/invention. She's someone else's - the lovely and talented Judith Katzir's. Funny how I want Rivi and Michaela to be just as I want them to be and do just as I want them to do. I guess that's why I was frustrated and annoyed as I read the story: because I really wanted to be reading another story - the story of the Hecate and Aphrodite. When Rivi scolds Michaela in the end for what she did, I was just annoyed with her. What a hypocrite. I would never scold my crone for what she did. Only for what she did not do. In either case, in either story: It was not an impossible love, but rather an imperfect love. And what other kind of love is there...

I don't get the whole need to see what it is like being with a man. Aka, a penis. I never had that curiosity, though, need nor desire. Rivi bought into the idea that every teenage girl needs to try a penis once. BLAH! I guess she was more like "Every Teenage Girl" than she thought...or than I thought at the start of the book. I never felt a desire or need to try it out with a penis. I guess that's why I'm happy to call myself a LESBIAN!!! I'm not sure there was ever a person so in love with one measly and meaningless label as I am with LESBIAN. TA DA!

Aside from the plot-line, there were certainly many, many other clever and honorable merits to Katzir's lovely work of art. And that's not even mentioning her poetic, romantic, beautiful writing and character development. I tend to focus on the plot and the writing, but other devices deserve mentioning...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Tale of Impossible Love (on a Kindle)

I liked a line that went something like, "She was so adorable, I could have killed her with kisses." A remark that is somewhat innocent and juvenile, somewhat extreme and obsessive, somewhat exacting and true to the bursting emotion of adolescent love. I'd look it up but that would take a while on the Kindle, I think.

Starting to Read: Dearest Anne by Judith Katzir

I started reading it, for the second or third time.
I'm 38% of the way through, according to Sandy's Kindle.
I like being able to take notes in the margins or underline or just find a passage easily - that's the upside of the paperback version.
It's good. It's very good.
It brought up some emotions in me, but it's not overwhelming.
Michaela is definitely a full participant in the affair, at this point.
It will be interesting to learn how it ends up.
What will R's mother dooooooo?
I am enjoying the sex/uality and eroticism.
Mutual attraction between student and teacher: whooooaaaa. But the girl is supposed to be 13/14 and her writing is pretty advanced. I was soooo pre-pubescent at 13, but hey!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How to Be a Writer and Have Kids : I Have NO Idea ... Lazypants and The Interrupted Words

I cannot seem to find time to write, though I think of things to write in the dark at night while I'm waiting for Elanah to fall asleep in my arms so that I can move her back to her crib. I think of things I want to SAY but then I decide that sleeping has to be my first priority. Considering that Elanah wakes up every 2-3 hours for a feeding (often waking Darah up so that she and Elanah both join us in bed) and likes to begin the day at 6:30 AM, I think it's a smart decision to trade the creative idea for sleep. I almost ALWAYS forget whatever it is that I want to remember in the morning. If a poem begins to form in my head and I am near sleep, I debate whether to get up or go to sleep. I almost always let it go, but I do spend a moment or two repeating it in my head in order to try to remember it. Didn't they used to tell us to study right before going to sleep to increase recall? Or maybe they told us to refrain from that. Either way, it doesn't work for me: if I don't write it down RIGHT then, then I forget.

The poetry in my head surely does matter to me, but when you've been up five or six times already and a poem pops in your head it is actually kind of annoying. I want to say to the poem: Why do you pop in my head right now that I am all warm and cozy and about to fall asleep? Why couldn't you have come to me during the day? I suppose the poem responds: "Jess, give me a break. The part of your brain that I live in is only accessible when you feel you can let go of all of the daily stresses. You drown me out with the day-to-day necessary thoughts, and here I wait for the moment when the rest of your brain gets quiet so I can start to speak. And then, in your lazypants way, you push me out yet again. Thanks a lot. And don't you go off on one of your tangents with excuse after excuse. We all know it's hard, Jess. Poooooor you." Well, you can see how sassy the poem can be. No wonder I go to sleep!

Life is full of interruptions. I cannot keep a linear train of thought going. There is always something I must attend to, whether it's Darah asking me to play Colorforms with her or Elanah crawling under the dining room chair, up my lap, into the kitchen. Children and intellectual pursuits of any manner sort of compete with one another, and (as they should) children win. Or at least in my life they win. So that just means the brilliant poem that started in my mind before bed last night is of as much use to me as the dreams I cannot recall when I wake up in the morning. Thoughts down the drain of the universe that is my brain. There are so many projects I'd like to start, continue, finish - in no specific order.  I want to continue to write NEW poetry, I want to write blog entries about past and present events; I want to try to get old and new poetry published; I want to try to write a children's book; I want to try to sing these songs I make up for Darah (maybe on a children's album or just for Youtube); I want to look into English-ed teacher certification requirements and counseling certification requirements for IL and NY; I'd like to put together some scrapbooks-- alas, I cannot even manage to finish this train of thought.

Elanah is climbing up my body, whining and fussing. I managed to wash the dishes, eat the rest of Elan's pureed carrots and write half of this before she woke up from her nap. Time's up, folks. "Don't know when I'll be back again..."