The Path Untravelled
I read a lot. For pleasure mainly. But I am so struck by passages from different books that I write them down. And reflect on them. Allowing them to percolate and take hold. I am currently reading The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard. I adored her Transit of Venus so much I gifted it to several friends who felt as I did.
Her The Great Fire is about a post WW2 world.
Examples, Page 6:
"In the wake of so much death, the necessity to assemble life became both urgent and oppressive."
"Dignitary is a one word oxymoron."
And several times in the book:
"When we're indecisive, the wishes of others gain."
I was struck by that phrase as I read it again this morning. It's clear to me that many times in my life I was indecisive. Afraid. Not pro-active.
Which got me to thinking of what makes us decisive? At what point do we let our own children, for instance, make their own decisions about their lives?
My father made many decisions for me, my career for one. I had wanted to be a writer from the first moment I set pencil to paper. His decision not to allow me to pursue this (in those days it was considered far too radical in the Ireland I grew up in and what would the neighbours say?)so I crunched numbers. Like he did. Like most of my siblings did in their own ways. Safe and secure. Education in those days being so wasted on a woman who would throw it all away on marriage and babies anyway which was the life Gawd intended for her, their being no greater glory for a mere woman - apart from being The Bride of a Polygamous Christ.
I mean my life has worked out, don't get me wrong, and I've lived long enough to explore that part of me that was so successfully and complicitly squelched, once the rest of my life's responsibilities were managed or put to rest.
My thought this morning was: What if I had been decisive way back then, and stood up to him (a daunting, brave act it would be even now, if he had lived)and declared : "My mind is made up. I won't be anything else but a writer!"