Pictures of Little Jenny

Wednesday, March 1

Tough morning.  Very hard to get up.  I’m feeling grief — but it’s more stuck grief — o god do I have to do this again?  I prayed for help but nothing came.  Yesterday’s session with Erica was very difficult.  We looked at the pictures of me as a child, of Mom & me when I was a baby, of the whole family.  There’s one picture, I think it’s 7th or 8th grade, my hair has obviously been set in pin curls, and the face is so vulnerable.  She looks so sad and unprotected.  I would look at that picture, or Little Jenny with the Dar Gorani look, or the other little jenny with the open face, and my body would contract with grief, and I would start sobbing.  I can feel the pain now.  It’s more in my gut than in my heart.  I feel like a mother who lost those children.  They never got to grow up.

Little Jenny

Little Jenny with the Dar Gorani look

Jenny at 12


I don’t feel very connected to the younger pictures of me.  Even though I’ve been looking at them all week.

The pain has moved to my heart.  I don’t know what to do with this pain except sit with it.  It’s connected to looking at those three pictures — but am I feeling their sadness, or my own sadness knowing how much pain they are growing up into?  Especially the vulnerable one.  It hurts so much to see how easily she will be hurt.  I look at her budding breasts and wonder if this is when Daddy was molesting me.  That look could be that she’s understood that he’s not doing it because he loves her, that she can’t protect herself, that she’s not worthy of a loving person, but only for the sleazy ones to exploit.

I told Erica that the piece I had written to Stravinsky was very dark, and I told her as much as I could remember of the Thomas Wolfe.  I said I thought all those were about how I was feeling inside, but I didn’t know it.  She said you knew it, but you didn’t know you knew it.  I was thinking just now about Judy Collins’ Albatross, and the Song of the Wandering Aengus.  I’m seeing now, that these expressions of pain come from a world where there are spirits, and spiritual energy, but there’s no overarching universal Spirit that is loving and good.  Where there are all kinds of emotions and feelings but no solid ground, no connections.  No connection.  That’s what’s missing in the songs, and even in the young Jenny faces.  In the earlier ones, she is still hopeful of finding what she wants and needs, but it’s not near her now, but in the sad and vulnerable one she’s lost hope.

I sit with the pain some more, and then I want to throw my arms around the vulnerable one and comfort her.

When the pain’s in my stomach, it’s about safety.  When it’s in my heart, it’s about love.  As I’m writing this I have a sense of a big container that’s holding all of it.  I’m glad that’s there, even though I don’t connect with it, other than to sense its presence.

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