“I have written two books of poetry and eighteen books of fiction about the struggle to free myself from my family and my conditioning so I could write and/or live as an artist with a mind that was free to roam, discriminate, and choose.  I will leave the details of that struggle, which included four marriages, three cesarean sections, an abortion, twenty-four years of psychotherapy, and lots of lovely men, to your imaginations and go on with the story of where I landed, on this holy middle ground that I don’t feel the need to fortify or protect, only to be grateful for having, as long as my destiny allows.  I tell myself I am satisfied to be here now, but, of course, I would fight to keep my life if I had to, with sharp number two lead pencils and legal pads, my weapons of choice for all battles.”

Ellen Gilchrist, “The Middle Way: Learning to Balance Family and Work.”  The Bitch in the House, ed. Cathi Hanauer (New York: Harper Collins, 2002), 249-55, at 250.

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2 thoughts on “Fighting

  1. This makes me think about The Awakening when Edna tells Adele that she would give her mortal life for her kids but that she wouldn’t actually give up her life that she lives. I don’t have the exact quotation at my finger tips, but in the novel, Adele doesn’t really “get it.” She doesn’t think a mother could do more that give her actual mortal life. Edna does not agree, but Adele–the mother-woman–still just doesn’t get what Edna is trying to say.

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