On reading The Bolter by Frances Osbourne.(and searching for some answers about my own (bolter)mother.
Somehow this character resonates with me as Karen Blixen ( her pen name is Isak Dinesen) did in Out of Africa. Idina's character bucked all traditional roles, created controversy, used poor judgement, had many lovers and refused what was offered to women in the 30's. Her being one of the first women of high society and old money to wear trousers thus humiliating her social elitist friends. Also choosing to treat her african workers with respect, opting to farm just like them in bare feet.
Reading this book I thought I wasn't going to like Idina but the further I read the more I was captivated by her, not in all ways but certainly in her ability to create a life for herself. And her achilles heel just as fascinating was a desperate search for love.
Was it possible that my own mother also had her reasons for leaving her children, was she too looking for a better life?
There is something so sad about the way women were expected to just 'accept their lot" even if they were miserable in it. Equally sad to know that the women who wanted to have a full and satisfying life paid for it with their reputation,often being made social outcasts. Her need to achieve and to out smart her men or leave them before she herself got left seemed comparable to that of a child's need to be loved by her father.
Was my own mother searching for her father? Was she too abandoned by him?
When I thought about the polytechnic anniversary yesterday and how the murderer said he hated feminists, I drew comparisons. In reality these women weren't even feminists, just smart enough and brave enough to apply to a school traditionally taught to men. Was his mother the one responsible because she left an abuser and decided to raise her son on her own?
Are we destined to follow in the footsteps of our parents? Could it be that my own mother is happier now having made her decisions then she was when she was making them? Even though she experienced great loss as a result? Did she experience a great loss at all? I wish I could ask her.......
"It had become clear that the only way to hang onto a better life was not to stake it upon the survival of a marriage".