Saturday, December 22, 2007

What We Write About When We Write


My friend Diana Wagman has a piece in the Times today called "The Cancer Drug" about using pot to get through chemo at http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-oe-wagman22dec22,1,5385759.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
I was delighted that Diana dealt a well deserved slap in the face to the sanctimoniousness and downright stupidness the issue has taken on. Some guy brought in some footage of the closing of a big clinic in Hollywood, trying to get me to support a feature project and perhaps be interviewed. All the footage was of real patients and it was like stoners via the Farrelly Brothers--like the lowest brow comedy and it just proves that lots and lots of folks who habituate these clinics could find other remedies for what ails them but they just like to get high. "Is that me?" is of course the burning question of the minute. And even if the answer is a resounding yes (I swear I don't know) given the human condition blah blah blah, is that a bad thing?

Diana also takes a big risk in a number of pieces she’s done for the Times by writing honestly about her family. Himself is wounded by me (I would so much rather he be angry) because of a piece I wrote here about his temptation to shield his birthmother from who he really is. I ended the piece with a passionate proclamation of love for him. I naturally assumed that this would defuse the sensitivity of the authenticity issues and expected an outpouring of love in return. I came home instead to a chasm. Everything I said was true and thoughtful. He has nothing to be ashamed of but if I were a good wife would I have considered that he might feel differently? Am I guilty of cheap writer shit or is it a mitzvah to publicly proclaim my love and discourage shame? Even though I brought it on like the graceless clod I am, I believe he will more fully confront who he is now at the very beginning of his journey to know his birthmother and that this will enrich the experience. Even though I have caused him pain, I do not feel the need to be forgiven by him. I need desperately though to feel loved by him and maybe this will teach me to keep my mouth shut. Right huh?

After reading Diana’s Times piece, I sent her an e-mail lauding her bravery in these essays and bemoaning my own sad situation with my beloved and she responded with a warm embrace and another question that burns, and that I cannot answer, "Our families are our lives and our lives are our work so what else can we do? ...You could ask him first I suppose - but how would you feel if he said no?"

1 comment:

FionnchĂș said...

We both write: my idea shuffling and book blather compliment your kvetching and kerfluffing in kitchen, with kinder, and with kin. So, consider me along for life's long ride, shotgun aimed at me or sitting haplessly as you stay in the driver's seat on your blog. Mixing metaphors merrily, I remain yours, etc. xxx me