Looking For My Grandmother
The reasons for our behaviors are not always self-evident. Food, water, shelter, clothing, sex- these have biological imperatives behind their pursuit. But other things: one's taste in culture, lifestyle trends, the arts- often these can only be understood dimly, if at all. Over the years, my interest in things of Scandinavian origin, (excepting Ikea) has led me to experience numerous films, books and other cultural experiences. What drives me to watch a morose Ingmar Bergman film (in the dead of winter, of course) and enjoy it? What is it about these cultures that is the trigger? Why not Eastern Europe, or the Orient, or Africa?
While attending the movies the other night (see previous post) it hit me. I am looking for my grandmother, or at least that part of her that is expressed in speech patterns, mannerisms, and personality traits that she possessed. Is it a part of my childhood that I'm missing, a void that needs filling? I found that I was watching the older women in both movies very closely, trying to make them fit with the image I retain (somewhat tenously as the years go past) of my mother's Swedish-born mother. Of course, it is an impossible trick. Still, it gives me some solace, even joy to have even this small grace, some way to allow her memory to be refreshed or even expanded.