Patty McCormack as The Bad Seed

You can’t give what you don’t have.

It seems obvious to her now, but it didn’t forty years ago. Forty years ago, she fell for a man who was emotionally and, at the time physically, unavailable. Young and a bit naïve, she was desperately and profoundly in love. The rose colored glasses were fused to her face like a raccoon’s mask. A kind of blindness precluded comprehension of consequence following action.

In time she inherited two stepchildren along with the husk of a man. The boy was easy to love. The other, a girl, was silent but turbulent. In hindsight, this girl was awfully like she herself appeared at a similar age – spoiled, resentful of the changes in her young life; but one quality the elder never would lay claim to and that’s sullen. It was this sullenness that most alienated the woman from this child. She furtively nicknamed the girl The Bad Seed and she proved, if not unlovable, certainly unapproachable.

The young wife soon gave birth to a daughter of her own, and jealousy was destined to rear its ugly head. The woman could not fake it with the stepdaughter, try as she might. The Seed pushed her two year-old down a flight of stairs, bloodying her lips, cutting her eye. She stole, she destroyed. She lied. To the adult female’s greatest consternation, this child seemed to spout falsehoods with criminal facility.

To lay blame now would be groundless; those times were harrowing enough for all involved. The marriage fell apart a few years later, doomed as it was, from the start. One thing led to another and the woman who was as much child as the progeny finally did grow up. And when regret rises to her mind like mercury creeping up a thermometer, she reminds herself that the girl’s behavior was a bit reminiscent of her life at a similar place in time: lost, alone, inconsolable, unaware of inconsiderations. You can’t blame a youngster for attributes fostered through the ignorance of parents. You can’t change someone else’s personality. Accepting what’s in another’s nature enlarges the capacity for equanimity. Still and all, if she had to do it over again …

What’s the use in futile meanderings? All kids are seeds. Seeds that sprout into flowers whose potential may take years to unfold. And if it takes them seventy years to come to any realization like it did her, our heroine will be long gone from this earth – a bit of dust in the wind.






(With Spanish subtitles, no less! But by far the best video of the song  …)

6 thoughts on “Soliloquy

  1. Hi! Found your blog .. So Far From Heaven .. Love it. Have been reading old posts but will never get to read them all. Wish I would’ve met you 40 years ago, but it wouldn’t have worked anyway. Will be reading in the future. Peace on your journey wherever it may be!

  2. Hi Bela. 70 years ain’t an awfully long while by hindsight and the growth doesn’t stop coming when a person reaches it. The flawed seeds we all were have a lot to get done in a lifetime. It takes some longer than others. Nice post. Thanks. Jules

    1. Thanks Jules – always great hearing from you. I agree at almost 60 – life seems too short to round the learning curve – the challenges just keep a-comin.’ I was reading something last night, a guy talking about the folly of trying to get things done, as whatever we accomplish will only reveal other things to get done. Life is like that. And so I strive to slow down to LIVE my life instead of seeing the day as a series of things to do. I don’t always succeed, but that’s my current learning curve 😉
      Take care out there in the wilds.

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