Authors talk about imbuing their characters with bits of themselves and I have always admitted to doing this frequently, it's difficult not to. But, sometimes something wanders into a character that is part of you, and you had not realized that it was. Recently, Joan Jett put out a new album, the first in 7 years. In it she exposes her heart in ways that she never has before, at least not to the world. She has two songs on the album that refer to the loss of her mother. Both are very moving, but one of them got me to thinking. In it she infers that with the loss of her mother she had to grow up, yet at the same time she still feels like she is still her mother's little girl. I completely understand this concept, as I feel the same way. I suppose I always assumed that everyone did. But, now that I am reflecting on this idea, I realize how naïve that sounds. Of course not everyone feels this way. Not everyone has a good relationship with their mother, not everyone loses their mother as an adult.... the point is that everyone is an individual and they have individual experiences.
I wonder as I'm thinking on this if there is some specific formulae that must be achieved before a person feels like a child their entire life. I wonder if my own mother had these feelings when grandma passed away. She never spoke of her own feelings to me, until after daddy passed, and then it was very brief. We are a very private family and do not even share intimate feelings with each other. So, I will never know if my mother felt like I do at the same age. I feel like Joan does. I'm always my mother's little girl, and yet at the same time I am not a spring chicken. Again Joan says it well in her songs, that age is only something between the ears.
I think to me growing up is somehow associated with leaving home, and once your parents are gone forever, you don't want to leave home. Somehow you want to keep them alive by not growing up. If you don't grow up, they wont die. But, they did. And that hurts in a deep gouging way. To avoid that pain you remain young and flexible in your mind, because if you don't the pain will catch up to you, and you don't want that.
So, back to imbuing characters with part of me, the part I'm talking about is Cali's relationship with her mother. I noticed after hearing this song by Joan, that I had killed Cali's mother and yet conveniently kept her alive as an Angel. This comes from me, my deepest and most fervent desire. Unfortunately I know that it is a desire that is not nor could ever be true. But, this particular concept of Angels is one that is readily accepted by the masses, so hence I used it to keep Patricia alive for Cali. I know that my mother is not an Angel. Humans are not Angels, they can never be Angels, they were born human, they die human, and if they get resurrected they will be so as a human. Angels are Angels, they are different life forms and cannot be human. This is a fundamental truth. But, the belief that humans can change into Angels at death if they life their life righteously enough is akin to believing that a human can be reincarnated as a cow. It's just not logical in any way of thinking. Yet, a lot of people believe it to be true.
Still, keeping Patricia alive by making her an Angel, and allowing her to continue to watch over her children helps to make Cali's story more palatable. Besides, how else could I have given her the abilities that she has without someone like an Angel giving them to her? Who better to do that then her own mother? It worked and it worked well. I just never realized that it was coming from my own desire to keep my own mother alive.
I know that people say that 'they are always alive in your heart.' But, they don't remark on the fact that once you are dead as well, that person that you kept alive in your heart is now also gone and most likely forgotten. Time has forgotten millions upon millions of people from the dawn of time. We even forget those people that we once were when we come back for another round of lessons. And still we pine over those people that personally meant something to us. Is this a progressive evolution for us, or something lower on the scale? I would like to think that our ability to feel sympathy and empathy and simple love, is on the upper side of the scale. I also think that when those emotions are transferred to the rest of the world, animals and plants and everything else, then we are evolving upwards. But, of course, I really have no idea. It's a hunch. When we put away pettiness and strife and hatred, we still have those emotions, but when we put them away and control them, that is a sign of evolving. What's this got to do with my parents? Nothing. It's just a thought that strung itself onto the first thought.
Anyway, that's what I felt when I heard Joan's new album, well when I heard the song "Hard to Grow Up". I'll find a good Youtube of it and post it on the site. I highly recommend the entire album. She still has it!
Live well and be good to each other.