So you can read my books

Saturday, May 11, 2013


The ghost of Mark Twain here to interrupt this post to point you all
to a hilarious post that I wish I had written:

The ghost of Mark Twain rattled the newspaper in his misty hands and roared,


He shook his white maned head.  "Listen to this, Roland:

The Obama Justice Department is arguing in the United States Supreme Court that children do not need mothers."

He balled up the newspaper in a fit of fury and threw it across the room. 

"Now, ain't that just like the government? 

It wants to say smart, persuasive words and ends up saying dumb, infuriating ones!"

Mark glared at the rumbled ball of newsprint and sighed,

"But this has all happened before, son.  Why I remember when the name "Mother" was downright reviled."

I frowned, "Really?"

"Sure, Roland.  Being a ghost lends a man a certain perspective.  Things got downright ugly in the early 1900s.

Sigmund Freud's theories of child development were all the rage, and they didn't always paint mothers in the best light —

in fact, Mother Dearest was often blamed for her children's problems."

I nodded.  "I do remember reading Wylie's GENERATION OF VIPERS."

"You and me may be the only ones left who remember that tripe from the 1950's."

I smiled, "I spent a lot of time in libraries reading the classics."

"Ha! Pulp Sci Fi writer, Philip Wylie t'wern't no classic! 

Why I recall reading his prologue to the 1955 edition of that sorry rag of his:

"Never before has a great nation of brave and dreaming men absent-mindedly created a huge class of idle, middle-aged women."

"Not idle anymore," I said.  "As of 2008, close to 80 percent of mothers with children between ages 6 and 17 worked outside the home. That is a rise of about 10 percent since 1984."

Mark's moustache twitched. 

"Son, you scare me sometimes with what's rumbling around inside that head of yours."

He lit his pipe.  "But it was that Wylie fella that scared pure snot out of me with words like:

"Let us look at mom.  She is a middle-aged puffin with an eye like a hawk that has just seen a rabbit twitch far below. She is about twenty-five pounds overweight, with no sprint, but sharp heels and a hard backhand which she does not regard as a foul but a womanly defense.

In a thousand of her there is not sex appeal enough to budge a hermit ten paces off a rock ledge. She none the less spends several hundred dollars a year on permanents and transformations, pomades, cleansers, rouges, lipsticks, and the like — and fools nobody except herself."

He flashed a wink at me.  "Think he had Mommy issues?"

I sighed,

"I think that nurturing a child early in life may help him develop a larger hippocampus, the brain region important for learning, memory and stress responses.

Brain images have now revealed that a mother’s love physically affects the volume of her child’s hippocampus."

Mark chewed the stem of his pipe. 
"Son, you have a veritable zoo inside that frightening mind of yours.  Why, how you could have such a mother as you did and speak of a Hippopotamus in the same breath?"

I groaned.

"River Horse is not what I think when I speak the name Mother."

"What do you think?"

"I think ... Love."

Mark clamped a ghostly but firm hand on my shoulder.

 "Remembrances of love are those threads which hold life's patches of meaning together."

He billowed a ream of smoke from his lips and stared brooding into the shadows. 

"Roland, it is not the lack of money that is the root of all evil.  It is the lack of love."

He stroked his moutasche. 

"I wonder what your electronic friends will make of this conversation?"

I smiled crooked,

"Maybe they'll remember your mother's words to you when you fell into the river --

“People born to be hanged are safe in water.”


  1. Men in that time (1900) painted such an idealistic picture of themselves. . . they had to have someone to blame their mistakes on.

    Mothers are the lifeblood of the earth. But they aren't to blame for all its ills. Humanity is.

    Mother to me means love, too, Roland. Unconditional love.

  2. D.G.:
    It seems always easier to fix the blame rather than fix the problem or to admit our faults!

    Mothers are, indeed, the shaping force of tiny souls. It is a bleeding world, for we bleed one another all too often.

    You and I think a great deal alike. Unconditional love is the greatest gift we can give one another. :-)

  3. The way caregivers approach the raising of a child has a lot of effect on what such child will be like as an adult. Yet, sometimes things go wrong even in the best of circumstances.

    Mother should, indeed, mean unconditional love. However, every now and then, the ones who push a babe into the world can not be called mothers.

  4. Magaly:
    As a former counselor, I know only all too well that just to give birth to a child is not to be the child's mother.

    "Mother" is a title to be earned by long years of nuturing, care, and sustaining love. Often people become victimizers by having been victims in their childhoods.

    My heart is with you, Magaly

  5. I was just telling my Piano Man, "I read a post that seems to have been written by a counselor."

    I was a counselor, too lol. First for Marines coming back from OIF/OEF and then for families affected by HIV and AIDS. The number of caregivers (yes, mothers in particular) who hurt their children was just terrible to gaze upon. But every now and then, I got a kid who was just scary all on her/his own...

  6. Hello, Magaly -- from one former counselor to another. :-)

    Yes, there are children, in whose mind something snapped or was never there to snap! Sociopaths are their own fathers of mayhem.

    Sadly, the business world welcomes them as their efficiency experts for their callous disregard of the feelings of the employees they displace.

    It is good to see another indepth observer of the human condition. :-)

  7. Wow, I never heard of such writings! Incredible!!! I'm always thankful to the ones who've gone before.

    Very interesting, and disturbing post, Roland. Loved the video, too...

  8. Words Crafter:
    So much wisdom and folly has been written in the past -- as it is today. It is truly hard to keep up with it all -- and to sort the chaff from the wheat sometimes, too! :-)

    May your weekend be healing and happy!

  9. The notion that motherhood automatically transforms thoughtless, immature females into selfless individuals ready to provide unconditional love at the moment of giving birth is one of society's great and tragic myths. Mother is a title, no more, no less. And I've known plenty who had no business being anywhere near children let alone raising them.

    My mom? She was so self-sacrificing, I knew I'd never succeed as a parent. Ditto with my dad. I was one of the lucky ones.

    VR Barkowski

  10. I have mommie issues.:/ Well, I did in the past, not so much anymore. But, I'll take your Mother's Day wishes!!

  11. Great post, Roland! I heard the government is going to start issuing licenses to mothers...but that might just be wishful thinking.

  12. VR:
    As girls become mothers younger and younger these days -- many times for dysfunctional reasons -- the number of good mothers are decreasing at an alarming rate.

    To call many women who have given birth Mothers is like calling a woodpecker a carpenter.

    But there are still loving mothers out there who try their best for their children, often times working in obscurity and without acclaim -- it is for them and my own mother that I wrote this post. :-)

    Are you not trying with all your heart to be the best mother you can? You deserve those best wishes. As for the less than stellar mother you may have had, I am filled with sorrow.

    At the age of six, I was abandoned by my own father on the street then called Skid Row in Detroit where I stayed for six harrowing weeks. A derelict named Maudie with her little dog, Tufts, shuffled me from one place to another, always one step away from the predators who prowled that area. Maudie finally overcame her fear of uniforms to bring me to the Salvation Army.

    So you see, I have what you might call Father Issues, too -- and nightmares, that thankfully are not so frequent anymore.

    If the government demands us to take tests to drive cars, how much more do they need to assure all those who wish children are mentally healthy. I know -- the government would make it a nightmare somehow. Sigh.

    Thanks for the nice words. I voted for the last chapter of your story by the way, Roland

  13. Too often I see the result of a "woman's right" to have children. So many times my mothers are pregnant again within a few months of having their children removed so they can keep getting the welfare money. One of my own cousins had 7 removed by CPS before they finally forced her to have a hysterectomy.

    I see the dregs so often I forget there are actual working mothers and fathers that have children because they love them. It is too bad women cannot often just remain home to raise and nurture their children, but I don't think that lessens the love. Its a sad society we live in today, much like the 1900's.

    Still, when I visit blogs and see the outpouring of love and family, I am glad to be a part of this world.


  14. Donna:
    As a former family counselor, I, too, saw the caricatures of humans having children who were victims at their first breath. But there are, like you wrote, simple women and men trying their best to simply live an honest, caring life.

    They are the real heroes of today. Have a healing day. How is that ankle?

  15. LOL, I keep pretending its all healed and I don't need that ridiculous boot. Then I start hurting and put it back on. They should give me a walking boot on Wednesday and I'll be able to get back to work then. I'm bored with being home - though I do like being caught up on blogging and getting to sleep in :)

    You have a good day too.


  16. Donna:
    Don't rush your healing. It will heal at its own rate. If you are patient now, you will keep from being one later! :-)

    Ah, sleeping in. I did that this weekend. Now, it's working 7 days straight again. Ouch!!

  17. Love the link you posted. Hilarious!

  18. Thanks for linking to my post, Roland!

    Oh, and your post wasn't too bad either :)

  19. Words Crafter:
    Wasn't Wendy's post hilarious? :-)

    I thought to leaven my reflective post with your post's light, zany humor. We bloggers and earthquake friends have to stick by one another, don't you know?