Now, I invite you to translate into any target language from the original English what I wrote last post. Please be accurate. Please get my intention, and get it right.
But, I confess, by the end of what I wrote, I'd forgotten my original intention.
And, I do declare, I intended more than I originally wrote. I think I already said that, and didn't even intend to repeat myself.
Now, I think I mean to say this: that not only is the author's intention more and less than what she or he writes but the intention changes just as soon as and during and after what is written is written.
Three more things, I'm sure: first, I am very grateful for change, even for ostensibly shifty intentions. My parents had a breakthrough in their relationship just as soon as my father, a man whose profession is religious talk, started saying and intending, "We practice daily what we believe; all the rest is just religious talk"; he then began giving true love to my mother every day.
Second, what do you intend by feminism, when you read what you thought I intended by it last post?
Third, Nancy Mairs also writes (as she starts a book with a "Prelude: Loving the Other") this:
Other-Love is writing's first name.
--Helene Cixous, "Sorties"
"and if you're very, very
lucky, like me," I
wrote to my daughter
several years ago as she made
her leisurely way from a Peace
Corps stint in Zaire to Tucson
to begin whatever-came-next,
"you'll wind up with a perfect
life!" I really did, and do, be-
lieve that my life is perfect,
although I recognize that cer-
tain details of it--like my own
advancing debilitation by mul-
tiple sclerosis and my hus-
band's metastatic melanoma--
might seem from the outside
to forbid it such status and
even to mark me as (1) a Polly-
anna, to use a quaint term, (2)
in denial, as pop-psych-speak
would have it, or (3), to be
blunt, out of my wits.
"The outside," however,
never provides a good vantage
point for life study. . . .
The truth is also that although "perfect" may mean "flaw-
less," it may mean "consummate" or "whole" as well, and it
is in this sense that I cherish my life as I could not, perhaps,
without its flaws. That is, these force me to live daily at the
potential end of the world as I know it, and so, on any given
day, my life must be as fully made as I can make it: perfect.