19 december 2016
One thing I’ve always envied my mother for is her stong will and fearlessness of being herself. Knowing he background and the amount of pain and suffering, let alone the amount of humiliation she went through, she still manages to dust herself off and look at the chaos with a face that says: “Ha, did you even try?” This does not take away the enormous amount of sympathy she can have. When you speak profoundly and sincerely to her, she widens her eyes and her normally so loud and theatrical voice softens. She then smiles and gives hugs and does whatever she can to make you feel better. This has to do with her emotional and rational side coming together and passing judgement over the situation. With the amount of knowledge and her own broad experience she has, she calculates what to think of a certain situation. Adding rational knowledge to her, can cause her to change opinions, when you know how to phrase it in such a way that her soul is touched. She demands to be heard, when she knows she can bring something beautiful to the world. She demands to be respected. She does not tolerate nonsense one bit. Her voice amplifies the moment she hears you’re giving a incoherent nonsensical story. She praises people with virtue and looks down upon people who are lazy. Bravery, wit, intellect and beauty are what makes life worth living for her, even if there’s no inherent meaning to life. To be frank, I do sometimes lose my intellect in front of her. Husserl and Heidegger and all the other phenomenological philosophers say that it’s not only you who interprets reality: it is also reality forcing itself upon you. Reality pushing you into passing judgement over it: sensing the matter, smelling and hearing it. Such a phenomenon is my mother. It may be that in class or outside I can be the adult I think I am, that I can drink and smoke and kiss anybody without a second thought, but in her presence I suddenly find myself becoming humble again, tripping over my words, wanting to be understood and equally lovingly hearing her thoughts. The comparison might be considered to be a bit far fetched, but there is a religious element to it. Something sanctuary, where I want to respect her not only as the individual she is, but also the personification she is of bravery, overcoming, compassion and pride. Not afraid of being herself, forcing herself almost to be an individual, but never when it means hurting the people she loves. Loving her is always optional. You never have to, but because of that, you always want to. Existential books are her favorite, but the ones in which the protagonist isn’t afraid of confronting the world with their individualism. Sabina from Milan Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being is a good example. Or easier, Nietzsche’s Übermensch.
Kafka is weak in her eyes. Someone who became dissolved in his own misery and found a way to convey that in paper to the rest of the world. She admits to having selfish feelings, like jealousy, pride, anger. But she speaks up, she shows the complexity behind it. It’s not just jealousy, it’s always associated with a whole string of events, literature, desires, expectations, etc. She’s my mirror, although with a golden edge. More confident, more intelligent, more focused and determined, more joyful and humorous. An admirable lady. There is a need to write it down, to make it explicit. It used to be normal for people to go down in history, if they had not done anything significant, if they hadn’t had an impact on the world. Not taking the opportunity of being born in an age where my thoughts don’t have to be lost, it would be a mistake not writing this down as a memoire. To remember how twenty year old me experienced her mother. To know that small impacts are as important as the big ones. The shadows in our lives are the small particles with the hugest impacts. The tiny friction before the Big Bang, that can cause an explosion of causality. Here it is as an ode to those people, an ode to the particles, but specially my mother.