Monday, May 31, 2010

Mother and Child



I learn about myself with my writing.  For example, mothers are often featured in my stories.  I didn't start out with the intention of doing this.  I do enjoy reading about relationships, and the mother-daughter one is basic.  It teaches one about love or the lack of it.

Motherhood was never a goal that I set for myself.  On the contrary, I told many people that I'd probably never marry nor have children.  I never liked playing with dolls and didn't have fantasies about the big wedding or a soul mate.  I refused motherhood until I chose it.  The soul mate (or best friend/spouse) came much later.

So you can imagine how surprised I was when I looked back on my short stories, flashes and novels only to discover not only mothers and sons and daughters, but adoptive mothers and blood mothers.  The search for mother love is integral in my stories.

If not for that, I would never have gone to see "Mother and Child." It's a serious movie with outstanding acting by a trio of actresses, Naomi Watts, Annette Bening and Kerry Washington.


The plot revolves around Adoption, but it has more to do with


Abandonment


Aloneness


Alienation


Most will write off the theme as classic Lifetime Network material, but I didn't.

In each of these women I saw how we cut ourselves off from feeling, overprotect our delicate souls, and deny what we need most: each other.

There's a scene with Naomi Watts and a blind girl she has befriended. The character Naomi plays doesn't usually have friends, especially female friends. She's in an elevator about to flee her life again because people are getting too close when the blind girl enters, unaware of Naomi's presence. The emotions that play across Naomi's face are an intense piece of acting. Nothing is said, but she is unable to come out of herself, to reach out to another, even though it is achingly apparent that she wants to. She's as trapped in herself as the blind girl is trapped in a sightless world.

  
Her battles are with an unknown woman:  her mother.  She plays out that battle with every new female she meets, and feels compelled to repel them before they have a chance to abandon her. 

The other characters played by Annette Bening and Kerry Washington are also limited by nature and nurture.  Bening makes the most striking change in her life.  Yes, the story is about mothers, but for me it was about choices, and giving yourself a chance, reaching out to others, and opening up to love, despite some unlucky breaks in life.