Erica Jong is a 1970’s author who invented the term “zipless fuck” — a passe concept that is not so popular now among the Y-gens and the millenials. What’s the big deal about zipless fucks when we have “friends-with-benefits”, “twerking”, and “Christian Grey”, right?
Erica has a daughter named Molly, with whom she had a love-hate relationship with.
Daughters will always have a love-hate relationship with their mothers. Unless that mother is dead and there is no point in hating her. When your mother is dead, the only way you can release yourself from her ghost is to forgive her for bringing you out into this world.
I think my mother would also have liked Erica’s books. I wouldn’t know now.
So, to mommy: thank you … I imagine that you are saying these to me from your grave ….
[Daughter], I want to release you.
If you hate me or want to reject me, I understand.
If you curse me, then want to atone, I also understand.
I expect to be your home plate: kicked, scuffed, but always returned to.
I expect to be the earth from which you spring.
But if I release you too much, what will you have to fight against?
You need my acceptance, but you may need my resistance more.
I promise to stand firm while you come and go.
I promise unwavering love while you experiment with hate. Hate is energy too — sometimes brighter-burning energy than love. Hate is often the precondition for freedom.
No matter how I try to disappear, I fear I cast too big a shadow. I would erase that shadow if I could. but if I erased it, how would you know your own shadow? And with no shadow, how would you ever fly?
I want to release you from the fears that bound me, yet I know you can only release yourself. I stand here wearing my catcher’s padding. I pray you won’t need me to catch you if you fall. But I’m here waiting anyway.
Freedom is full of fear. But fear isn’t the worst thing we face. Paralysis is.
(from the book “Fear of Fifty” by Erica Jong)