Mae Babitz - Artist


Excerpts from an Autobiography written by Mae Babitz:

“From the moment I was born, I plotted how to get out of Texas and the family situation, which I found grossly incompatible with my inner needs. Those people whom I loved-hated, I realized could never meet my inner yearnings. Being a Cajun had its advantages and my French-Louisiana background lent flavor and warmth to those early years, but Texas poor white trash and roustabouting ignorance was crushing. I needed out, but it was not until living thru vast wastelands of poverty, step-child brutality, carousing, family breakups, abandonments, and soul-stultifying provincialism – and here comes a certain tender feeling for the openness, friendliness and bigheartedness of those Texans – could I manage to find my way out.

I finished high school with a modicum of recognition and disdaining any thought of going to college because those who had gone exhibited singularly square and limited visions. So to business school to become a stenographer where the sinister, surreal, dust bowling, hoover-villeing, wasteland years defined my early twenties. Worked as a waitress for $4 a week, then, thru the intervention of an Irish Catholic priest who must have recognized my strivings, was able to come to the Promised Land, California, where I worked as a stenographer. California – I had achieved a very important goal – away from the hemming-in ones. On my own! Palm trees were strange. Now they are engraved on my soul.

Everyone has a first marriage – it was droll. Did you expect a cut and dried account of my life, which I cannot sift out and box? This is my subliminal life which watercolors all the edges of my façade. I haven’t lived that stumbling outer life with strange jobs, disintegrating fringe living. I lived all those yearnings and then one-day, true love. Man to woman, recognition of our other selves. Having my two children fulfilled the greatest biological, creative, emotional, intellectual, all encompassing need of my life. Schedules and Spock and homebuilding and beautiful babies and lifelong friends and doing my thing. Slyly conforming while inwardly preserving ourselves. Managing to fulfill that inner need to contribute my mark to the world. My unique contribution, my art. Recognition for my work. I was myself, somebody on my own, not dependent on the success of my husband. I felt equal and as good. My achievement – a contributing person.”