İngiliz yazar Rachel Cusk'ın çok tepki alan kitabı "A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother"ı buldum bizim kütüphanede. Cusk kendi deneyimleri üzerinden bazen kara mizahla, bazen koyu bir karamsarlıkla anne olma serüvenini anlatıyor. Oldukça fazla tepki almış bu romanıyla: kötü anne olmakla, çocuklardan nefret etmekle vs. suçlanmış. Bense son derece dürüst buldum yazdıklarını. Bence yaşadıklarının -hepsini olmasa da- büyük bir kısmını tüm anneler yaşıyor. Kimi itiraf ediyor, kimi kendine saklıyor.
Bu Cumartesi gecesi üşenmedim yazdım kitaptan hoşuma giden, benim deneyimlerimle örtüşen birkaç bölümü. Ama Türkçe'ye çevirmeye üşendim doğrusu :(
"Her [the baby’s] eyelids begin to droop. The sight of them reminds me of the possibility that she might go to sleep and stay that way for two or three hours. She has done this before. The prospect is exciting, for it is when the baby sleeps that I liaise, as if it were a lover, with my former life. These liaisons, though always thrilling, are often frantic. I dash about the house unable to decide what to do: to read, to work, to telephone my friends. Sometimes these pleasures elude me and I end up gloomily cleaning the house, or standing in front of the mirror striving to recognize myself. Sometimes I manage to read, or work, or talk, and am enjoying it when she wakes up unexpectedly and cries; and then the pain of moving from one life to the other is acute. Nevertheless, watching her eyelids droop, my excitement at the prospect of freedom buzzes about my veins. I begin manically to list and consider things I might do, discarding some ideas, cherishing others" (sayfa 65).
"One morning, when she is six weeks old, I am alone at home trying to get her to go to sleep: I am extremely tired. The night has been filled with fireworks, with surreal adventures and Olympian feats of endurance, and dawn has arrived like a hangover. She, and hence I, have not slept for many hours. For perhaps the twentieth time in ten hours I feed her and put her down in her cradle. I am not asking for a solid strecth: I merely require a few minutes to myself gluing parts of my face back on and saying things aloud in front of the mirror to see if I’ve actually gone mad. At this point I don’t just want her to go to sleep. She has to go to sleep otherwise I don’t know what will happen. My position is at once reasonable, utterly desperate, and non-negotiable. I put her firmly in her crib. I remove myself to the bathroom and close the door. There is a long moment of silence that is both blessed and threatening. It is filled with my command, and with the possibility that her requirements will not yield to mine, that she continues to exist beyond my patience, my love, my ability to own her. Then, next door, she cries. I begin to shout. I don’t quite know what I am shouting, something about it being unfair, about it being clearly being completely unreasonable that I should want FIVE MINUTES on my own. GO TO SLEEP! I shout, now standing directly over her crib. I shout not because I think she might obey me but because I am aware of an urge to hurl her out of the window. She looks at me in utter terror. It is the first frankly emotional look she has given me in her life. It is not really what I was hoping for.
Eventually she goes to sleep, silently, submissevely, declining my help. Her withdrawal from me fills me with shame; the sleep itself, so longed for, is unbearable. I want to wake her up, proffering love. Now that she is still quiet my love is once more perfect, and she is not even awake to see it" (sayfa 79-80).
“By the time she is a year old she has learned to love, as she is learning to act and to speak, primitively but recognizably..... It is in some ways profoundly relieving, the development of her preferences and moods, the slow emergence, like another birth, of her character. Her self, for so long a mystery we attempted to solve, a space we filled with guesses, is taken from us like a worrying charge. Now she has arrived to claim herself, to take herself from us, and this seperateness marks the end of one kind of love and the beginning of another. The one-sided passion of her infancy, that ferment of terror and responsibility, the dark flood of undifferentiated emotion, has subsided. It was love for an object, love in the mind, at once everything and nothing. I no longer find myself swept along by the waves of generalised human pity or grief that washed back and forth over the defenceless plain of my heart. This new love is banked and dammed. It is love with walls, with rooms. It is conversational, corresponding, detailed, civilised. It is more like romantic love, the love of adults, than I could have anticipated. I have to stop myself from talking about my daughter, from recounting her exploits and narrating her relation to me. There is less that I have to do for her now, and the withdrawal of her helplessness draws a veil over the murky history of my care of her. I imagine, ashamed, her caring for me when I am old, bringing the bedpans and the bottles; and I wonder what I will have scored, what undisclosed quantity of loyalty and love I have earned during these testing months. I did not know, in truth, that they were a test. I forgot that she would one day spring to life, would one day walk and talk and tell me that she thought of me. I wonder if I offended her with my reluctance, my fury. I wonder if I tormented her. I hope that I have been good, like Cindrella, when it was hard to be; not like the ugly sisters with their big feet and horny toes, whom retribution has unforgiving in its sights, who love, but too late" (sayfa 91-92).
Kitabın henüz ortalarındayım. Bir de emzirme ilgili kısımlar var ki, onları da daha sonra yazacağım.