Monday, April 17, 2006


I found John Taylor's Falling on the shelf in our non-fiction section on a whim. I did a little literary genealogy, after reading that he was married to Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle. Her book is about growing up with her eccentric family in the 60's, in somewhat Dickensian conditions. Today they would call it child abuse, but in her own words, they called it an adventure. I love books about off kilter childhoods. Haven Kimmel's A Girl Named Zippy is another good one.

Falling is essentially Taylor's exploration of the collapse of his marriage. He writes: ". . .Marriage, at the time I got married, did seem like a good idea. Not that I gave it much thought. I was 28 and utterly unaware of the course my life might take. I had no idea the consolations and confinements marriage offered. . .Who does? The question can only be answered in retrospect. Marriage, I came to believe at the time I was trying to figure out why mine was falling apart, is largely as matter of luck." (Taylor, 7).

I'm strolling down pain lane talking about this stuff here but, as Taylor points out, you can only do so in retrospect. When I read his explanantion, it seemed absolutely on the mark for me. My siblings used to tease me because I told them I would never marry. I also said I would use plastic ware to avoid doing the dishes, and live in a city and take cabs to avoid driving. That was my life when I was 24, and then I met him. Marriage, failed or not, was not something I took seriously before 24. I was married at 27. I worked damn hard at it, but it seemed to me more of an issue of being a care taker, and I found that difficult. I thought that love would be enough. I tried to change my way of thinking, but no matter what I did there was always that feeling that I was losing myself.

There was a lot of darkness for me for a long while, but now I feel so content at times that it is a foreign pleasure.

1 comment:

CBK said...

I certainly identify with his situation before and during his marriage. I just didn't really appreciate what I was getting myself into, and frankly shouldn't have been there to begin with.