old_black (old_black) wrote,

Do not go gentle

I'm reading a book by an author who, despite her fame and achievements, is new to me, Claire Messud. I'm only early on in the novel (The Woman Upstairs) but Ms Messud has me completely won over with her insight into people and relationships.

The narrator, Nora, has been talking about her relationship with her mother. The mother has  the disease that killed Stephen Hawking, so she's rather limited in what she can do, having spent a large part of her life doing things for others.

Nora reflects on her mother and the life she lived in this passage:

Claire Messud The Woman Upstairs p 60

Nora loved seeing that hint of fight in her mother, as she lay dying, and I loved reading how Claire Messud described that interaction.

On the same day as I read this passage I read my own daughter's running diary. She lives in north-east America not far from where Messud's story is set, and is determined to not let the New York winter stop her.

Here she is after her 8 km run:

There's clearly plenty of determination in her character, but I don't think she gets it from me.  The reverse, in fact. I have been inspired by her attitude. I am encouraged by reading about how she fights various adversities: climatic, social, political, financial.

I'm not quite ready to give up & go gentle just yet. I'm drawing strength from others.

 [Copy of my post on WordPress - comment there]
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