Rivers and Oceans
“Women can change better’n a man,” Ma said soothingly. “Woman got all her life in her arms. Man got it all in his head.”
“Man, he lives in jerks-baby born an’ a man dies, an’ that’s a jerk-gets a farm and looses his farm, an’ that’s a jerk. Woman, its all one flow, like a stream, little eddies, little waterfalls, but the river, it goes right on. Woman looks at it like that. We ain’t gonna die out. People is goin’ on-changin’ a little, maybe, but goin’ right on.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
When I was a teenager and first read Steinbeck’s American classic I loved it but there were many things in the novel that bewildered and, occasionally, annoyed me. At fifteen, I didn’t feel like my life was a river. It felt more like a pond. And unlike ‘Ma’ and the women of the novel, my life was very much in my head. I didn’t want to stop living in my head just because I was a girl. I wanted to have ‘a life of the mind’ no less than to be in my body. I wanted pie-in-the-sky and the flow of the river. Now, my life is in my arms and yet it is no less in my head.
This leads me to my excuse for not posting a more specifically focussed blog about Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean today. It’s been a busy week of family gatherings, of spending time with offspring who have returned home from overseas for brief visits, of admiring babies as they splash in the paddle pool in our back garden and cooking in the heat of a Melbourne summer. I have been drinking the ocean where those rivers of a woman’s life converge. Tomorrow I’ll scoop a little bit more sky into my lap top for the next post.