I will be talking with Cecilia Skidmore on The Open Mind on WGVU Radio today and next Sunday. Her program complements a national PBS series called Women, War and Peace. Listen in to the streaming broadcast online, or download the segment at your convenience.
The show airs in Grand Rapids, MI at 7:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.on WGVU-FM 88.5 and 95.3.
“As a writer, I have always been attracted to what is hidden. I write to understand what is not understandable, what is not even acceptable, and to find a deeper truth in what has not been spoken.
“I write war, trauma, history.
“I also write family, without planning to do so. And motherhood. This is the natural consequence of writing who I am. In our culture and our stories, gender is everything. I have learned – not always in the nicest ways – that even when I am sure that my own preoccupations have nothing to do with gender, my readers will still bring their own, gender-based expectations to my work.”
This morning, I discovered – surprise, surprise! – that there is very little traffic on the roads at 2:30 in the morning. That’s when I was picked up for a live interview on the Lorraine show, on ITV in the UK. More traffic than expected at 4:00 am, when I was finished. In between, a conversation with a smiley face on a yellow post it (that’s where I was supposed to look at the camera – I could hear Lorraine’s Scottish brogue in my ear, but her image was too time-lagged to look at). If you have an international video viewer, you can see it here. If not, you can wait along with me for the DVD to arrive in the mail.
A not terribly groundbreaking debate on noncustodial motherhood begins at about 16:20 minutes into the episode, but it ends with the acknowledgment that different models of family and childcare can work!
My Mother’s Day interview with Sherry Bracken has been posted on The Big Island News Center. You can listen to the half hour discussion here. We talk about everything from astrophysics, to my mother, to the inspiration for my first novel to Hiroshima in the Morning. She is a thoughtful, warm and very smart interviewer. Thanks Sherry!
Comments on my article on The Huffington Postyesterday featured many protests to my suggestion that, if we really think single motherhood is bad for women and children, then maybe we, as a caring society, should think about how we can help. Essentially (paraphrasing here):
“Why should I give up my hard earned money to someone else?”
Meanwhile, comments on my tribute to my mother on Salon, which also ran yesterday, seemed to indicate a belief that mothers should sacrifice themselves for the greater good of their children and families, in the heartbreaking and difficult cases where those two are at odds. I did not leave my children, and I am so grateful to have found an unorthodox way to balance my needs and my children’s needs so that both are met. So sad, though, and so ironic when placed next to the comments on the other article, to read that quite a few people think:
“My mother left us and found her happiness, but she should have stayed because one person’s happiness is less important that the happiness of several (her children and family).”
One or several? Me or them? Is it just mothers who we require to be selfless, when the rest of us clearly don’t want to be?
The choices, and the solutions, cannot be so black and white. We are human, after all. Love and compassion are part of what we are. There has to be a way to empower us to help ourselves and enable us to support and serve others so that no one is ruined, abandoned, or lost.