Sunday, October 19, 2008

Far Or Fast

While browsing in the public library, my mother saw this line in a book that she quoted to me on our drive home "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together" - it is an African proverb. It is obviously a very profound thought and tells a lot about the power of communities - possibly the context in which it was referred to in the book that she had been reading. But for both of us it has a very deep and layered meaning.

My mother has lived and grown in a far from perfect marriage for the sake of the greater good, believing always in the power of time to redeem, heal and transform the most difficult life situations. What she has done is not unique in her generation. Many women have done even more and their patience and fortitude have paid rich dividends in the end. They have all gone far and gone the distance together.

I on the other hand, had no time to waste, for things to turn around, to try and make a bad marriage work out in the end. This is a generational shift, I think. Women of my generation are not as likely as our mothers to keep persevering against the odds of a difficult marriage; covering their hurt and pain like an oyster does a grain of sand into a pearl if only to blunt its edge.

I had to have my house in order right away because there was so much I wanted to do with my time and energy. I had no desire to drain it away on one man in hopes of him someday becoming who I wanted to spend my life with. I had seen my mothers' generation do it, had seen how it sapped the vital energy of these women who were willing to give up everything so they could keep the family together and I had seen them succeed.

Yet, it was not a price I was willing to pay. I did not think it was worth the sacrifice - I had to go fast and decided to go alone. As it turns out I have been able to go faster without the dead weight of a bad marriage dragging me down but I have not gone quite as far as I would have liked.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i wish you go beyond your expectation with hand in hand with some one .who can take you far as well.