I read somewhere recently (could it have been theviolethourmuse?) that we are not just our mothers, but our grandmothers as well, by way of the development of the ovaries. As the female fetus develops ovaries complete with all the ova they will ever have, we “exist” within our mothers, within our grandmothers at around 12 weeks’ conception. VHM did a post about family blots this week; timely, as I’ve been thinking very much about my grandmother’s battles with depression. Add to this the trading back-and-forth of cells that occurs between mother and fetus and you have some serious genetic mysticism to roll around in.
(ETA: Remembering this little piece of mind-blowingness from Creation: Life and How to Make It. I’m not up on the exact biology of it – and have read mixed reports -, but the concept is fascinating: The who that you were – whom you think you are – does not exist. That person is dead and gone, rubbed off on bed sheets and washed down drains. Because we are made of meat and many of our cells die and are replaced over the course of years, who we were at birth is not the same person we are now. The ramifications this has on memories and idea of Self – and personality and soul – are astounding.)
My grandmother’s worst depression came in her early 40’s, I think, and lasted a good, long time. She got through it because she had to, largely (again, I think) and probably because she is stubborn like that. She made dozens of self-portraits which now hang on the walls of the faculty of mental health at UCT (donated because she can’t stand to look at them). I’ve never been moved to replicate any part of me other than my hands, but this blog certainly qualifies as a self-portrait, and the writing seems to be helping. Shall I write my way through it?
* As opposed to a spanking.