Tuesday, February 27, 2007

There aren't any easy answers to the questions being raised today, and it may be too easy for me to remember Jesus saying, "Greater love has no man than to give up his life for his friend." Or wife, or children. Isn't staying with your family sometimes a real equivalent of giving up your own life? Cannot it sometimes be a blessing, especially if it is given with graciousness, not rigid rectitude? I believe that it can, because I know of families where this is what has happened. Sacrifice is no longer popular, but I think that sometimes it can lead to true joy. Even the simplest of unions does not come free. There is always sacrifice.
Madeleine L'Engle from Penguins and Golden Calves

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday Mug Shot

Bookworm at 18 months old

following her lead

My mum, and she is a mum not a mom, isn’t in anyway typical, she is, rather, exceptional.

You see she has this ability which I both admire and envy, she can live more wholly “in the present” than anyone I have ever witnessed. For this reason, small children, and animals love her instantly and the rest of us do soon after. Now for the sake of context and reality I will also tell you that my mother battles with a form of depressive bi-polarism, she takes medication on a regular basis these days and will for the rest of her life, this doesn’t mean she is always hunky dorey but she is much much better than in the past. She is kind of like the girl with the curl: When she is “good” she is very very “good” but when she is “bad” she is (well not horrid) just very very down.

But still she has this spectacular talent. And it is spectacular how she can weigh into a conversation with just about anyone and lend to it the same weight and importance regardless of the topic, the age of her counterpart, or the absurdity of the situation. But the magic is - none of it is contrived - she really means it. Which can lead to some pretty fun situations, but nonetheless her natural style and warmth brighten up not the room but everyone in it.

Why do I tell you all of this? Because I have lessons to learn from my mother, something I am just recently seeing as vital to my own mental health. I need this mum God gave me to, gave to me. She is a part of my puzzle, and my path. And I could learn a thing or two from her ease and genuineness. You see I have a hard time always being present for my children; I rebel against it more often than I care to admit. And although I don’t need to qualify, I will, it is not because of a lack of love but rather I have a hard time pulling back from what I see as ideal and living out what is real.

I can easily get trapped in my head by thoughts, this draws me away, locks down my capacity to “be” and makes me rather miserable to be around. I do recognize that this is my tendency, it is part of who I was created to be so I don’t feel that my being “up in the stratosphere” is bad ~ however and this is the point, I am not always preoccupied by the most beneficial thoughts, rather I am chased by worries, frettings, unease about the various sundry details of what I should and should not be doing, and how this and that is not done “right” and how I have “this thing” yet to do etc etc. These are exhausting, running around in circles thoughts and they wear me out, worse yet they wear everyone out.

Now this is nothing new to many, “there is nothing new under the sun” and it isn’t even a new thought for me however it is timely, as this is exactly where I have been as of late, running off hither thither avoiding and side stepping my nervousness, my anxieties over what amounts to very little and today once much of the work was finally finished, I was able to shake some of it all out of my head and find a clear way through the day. I found my step again in the house, the one that steps more lightly and less upon toes, and together Goose and I made dinner side by each, opening cans, stirring tuna bits, crumbling cheese and her joy was palatable and real (much like my mum this one), Bookworm and I danced up a storm on the new area rug he brought home as a surprise for me, and she laughed and laughed – her body a whirl, her face alive with the freedom, as I try to teach her this dance of “being” as best I can.

And so I think of my mum, of the times I watched her dance lightly, how I have witness her relearn the steps and carry on, how her spirit bids me to get up and dance again.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

crumbs to follow ...

I have been deep inside my head the last while – as the lack of posts might suggest – I can’t really explain the why’s or what’s I just find myself contemplating – riding along the deep veins of thought which run the length of my core – without words, without form –

I have some questions ... some “what do I do with” questions ... ones which have been needling at me.

I have some answers which don’t allow me to fully moan about my predicaments.

I have some new realizations and thoughts which are scrapping away some barnacles and leaving relieved raw skin.

And I am in the throws of motherhood: rebelliously, reluctantly, hopefully, willingly.

I am tired and worn and weak.

I am full of a newness and new colour.

All these things seem to be spilling over one another as I try to find my way through these days. Each day means new steps, perhaps that is what I need to wrap my mind around ... accept that each day is an act of will, a choice to stand and shoulder it, to raising myself up and raise my eyes above the grind to see the glory.

It is a confuddled mess in here basically and I have been trying to work it though. As I have said, but I didn't want the silence to become so much that I couldn't bridge back to here again.

Image from here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I forgot ...

So I am going to apologize for all my belly aching about it being "yucky not quite spring enough outside yet" because I forgot. I forgot that he brought these home for me yesterday, and they are spring and beautiful ... I just need to find a place to plant them.

And the day is sunny and I have the doors and windows open and the breeze is sensational (albeit still slightly cold as the children and I are all bundled up in sweaters, jackets, and slipper - you know it is chilly when I don footwear -) but it is cheery and I have been much more productive - snapping pictures of all the work the kids have been doing etc, re-creating the idea of a portfolio as a blog for their teacher (because I have never played well by rules that make little sense to me) and working hard to forget the humongous bag of candy covered chocolate eggies my husband brought home the other day. Hmmm .... lemon green tea is so much better ... mmmmm ..... (no, I am not convinced yet either.)

My thanks to each of you for the kind words of support :)

a something to look upon

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. ~Anne Frank

I have been missing having something beautiful outside my window to see each day. The melted snow has left the complex grey with sanding grit, the dog has left the backyard a mess, and I really just want to be in or at least look upon something green for awhile --- it is time for spring.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

of two minds ...

I think I must be in the doldrums – maybe it is fatique – but I have been lacking incentive to do much of anything these last days. Perhaps it is the sense that there is so much to do (as always) that I am shutting off the things which I usually enjoy and just sit and do nothing.

I have homeschool reports to do, which are now late (which I hate) and although I got much of the house cleaned and reorganized after we got a new shelf (thank you Lowell and Frass :) ) I still have this feeling that things are just piling up everywhere and I am finding it hard to clear a way through.

Especially my thoughts. They don’t seem to have direction and even I am bored of the quotes but nothing else seems to be sticking, motivating me to want to write any of it out. So instead I am just trying to write through what “this” weird malaise is all about hoping to get past wherever it is I am. Waiting to get to that other side.

It all seems so contrary to the changes in other things about my days, like my morning times, which I do really enjoy. I feel self-defeating – like I am working against that which is propelling me. Perhaps it is not so strange after all.
I am a double minded woman these days.
One of the very few reasons I had any respect for my mother when I was thirteen was because she would reach into the sink with her bare hands - bare hands - and pick up that lethal gunk and drop it into the garbage. To top that, I saw her reach into the wet garbage bag and fish around in there looking for a lost teaspoon. Bare hands - a kind of mad courage.
~Robert Fulghum

Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday Mug Shot: The Gang

If I could comprehend God completely, God wouldn't be worth bothering about. I'm finite, God is infinite; the finite cannot comprehend the infinite. But we get enough glimpses.
Madeleine L'Engle: from an interview in Village Life
For the record, I was up at the usual time but the internet at my house wasn't quite up to the task.

Friday, February 16, 2007

February's Love Letter: From slowing into the glowing

Beep beep beep ... I look over at the clock and sure enough it reads 6:30 am I toss groggy hand over to the clock and fumble the buttons until I am certain they will not go off again ... slowly I shift into an upright position and settle legs to ground reaching out instinctively for the glasses I know to be there ... gently I lift myself to a stand and shuffle over to the pile of still clean clothes I shed the night before, scoop them up hoping everything is accounted for and reach through the dark to the handle I sense should be there.

If I am lucky, she is still sleeping, even if just for another 10 minutes, and it is still and quiet in the house, the dog poised over the top step waiting for me to make a reliable move, I do and we make our way down the noisy steps breathing out with each a prayer that the children won’t hear. At the bottom, I drop the clothes over a chair, blink slow ... blink again and let my eyes settle on the windows ... now not so dark as they were just days before I am sure ... I yawn, sigh and move over to the humming computer still sleeping. I look away as bright light jumps out at me too soon ... I shuffle through files of quotes, settle into one and post...

Done - I transfer myself to the kitchen table, but first I pause to turn on the lamp I recently moved onto the little table I placed here to fill this lonely corner of the room-- the light is warm, orange, and cozy spilling out only what I need to sit by, to read by, to write by and I reach down to the shelf beneath and lift out my bible, my journal, my MP3 player and pencils of various sharpness, pushing chairs aside I sit smack daub in the middle of my pool of light spreading books and pencils and things out to the edges. Looking up, I see her feet round the corner of the stairs, I gesture for quiet and she shuffles off for her crayons and paper, making ready to join me in the light. Together we sit, and after some reminding she settles into her happy work of drawing as I open books to pages, slip the headset over my ears, turning to whichever song it is that seems to be sating and press play. I sit this way just listening for awhile- thinking, looking, watching her hands move over paper- silently... inviting ... asking ... preparing ...

I have been starting my days in Isaiah although it is the last reading listed on my sheet, slowly I read a section ... knowing I will re-read it in a moment as my brain slowly shifts to this kind of reading ... looking past words ... opening up to words ... I read again and continue farther this time, time passes and more little bodies begin to accumulate within my light circle and I know the boy will be calling me soon, so I move pre-emptively up the stair to fetch him down to the gaggle of girls who await him. Off to the living room they tramp expectant, I turn the television on and they take up their new positions in a new circle of light. Alone, I drift back to the reading and the writing and the listening... just a little longer.

So begin my days, if done well ... not every day has been so very peaceful as I am learning that the diligence of beginning leads to a need for perseverance in the continuing ... but He said come and I have been coming as well as I can and ... He fashioned me a lamp to read by, and light to see by, and a space to be in ... and I am grateful.

Other Love Letters found here: God's Love Letters
Inigo Montoya: That Vizzini, he can fuss.
Fezzik: ...fuss...fuss... I think he likes to scream at us.
Inigo Montoya: Probably he means no harm.
Fezzik: He's really very short on charm.
Inigo Montoya: Oh, you've a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: Enough of that.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we'll all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it.
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?
Vizzini: AARRGGHH!!

The Princess Bride

Thursday, February 15, 2007

whispers to lead me ...

I sit here tonight (and now this morning) a mind full of half thoughts; grasping to catch hold of that which is just a brush across fingertips.

Mind clutched upon how I am such a needy creature, and I loath it. I am tired of living out this duality of mine alternating between the needing and wanting and lamenting and the berating and lecturing myself for this ‘weakness’. This battle degrades into a walking numbness as I snuggle down into a well worn body dent in the mire.

This constant push and pull is and has gained me nothing over time, and yet I persist ... why do we seem to walk so far doing something we know is endless and circular? This battle has broken down my understanding, walking the same beaten path has lost its appeal ... because still I am needy. I have huge gaping holes in my confidence, in my being and they will not be filled or satisfied ... nope never ... and I will limp through this world lame and weak and wounded ... this will continue to seep out of me and touch other people ... I can not isolate the leak and plug it up ...

And nothing and nobody (even the man who offers his heart up to me in the wordless way of his eyes) can fill that need – and although God could smudge it all away from being, He won’t because He knows better. As I know not to hand my son a hot cup of coffee – I know I can’t always let her walk away when she gets frustrated about the work – I know she means well but I can’t let her do my job -- I know she won’t learn to give way if I don’t say “no” - I know because these are my kids and I know them – I have been watching them since the very first, so I know. I also know He knows better, regardless of how I see things, He knows better. So, I know I am needy and will remain so.

But recently I find myself groping in this blindness searching ... catching an odd tidbit and murmuring ... unsure I cock my head listening, willing my ears outside myself ... stretching my neck out ... waiting ...

I am beginning to sense there is something here which has always been but hid from my eyes ... I have been walking this way now toward a something, toward a someone ... He beckons me come and take my fill ... for this day.

Come again tomorrow ... and the next day ... and so on and so forth ....

I am needy; I am in need, and my constant wrestling against being so means denying His calling after me, His desire and want of me.

This willow green realization breaks down my notions of what a daily devotional ... what daily devotion is for and this in turn challenges my thinking of such things as “right and proper ...” and buds out a desire and want and physical need to sit quiet every morning ... because I need Him ... because I too want him here with me everyday.

This is not a revolutionary thought ... I believe the Bible is rather illuminating on the topic of manna and such ... but I am just learning to see it ... to feel the spirit stir if you will ... (funny ... as He wills I suppose is more accurate).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pure, spiritual, intellectual love shot from their faces like barbed lightning. It was so unlike the love we experience that its expression could easily be mistaken for ferocity.
CS Lewis-Perelandra

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the river he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spell-bound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.
Kenneth Grahame "The Wind in the Willows"

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday Mug Shot

I realized I seldom include photos of more than one child, so here is an early photo of my eldest two daughters who although rather different in personality find they can get into all sorts of "fun" together. Here they are all covered in dirt from the bone dry ailing lawn they found to be "just the place" for some fun.

This is my backdrop for the week.
The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.
Henry David Thoreau

Friday, February 09, 2007

skip skip skip to my lou ...

My brain has been rather wandery the last little while ... I think writing the “I am” posts left me more depleted than I assumed they would, as is so common when I start something without working it all out to its ultimate end.

My mind has been skittering across random memories, moments ... but like rocks skipping across water they all seem to sink down into some kind of unknown ... under the waves again ... collecting neatly, rolling along the bottom ... and gone from sight or insight.

At the same time I have been reveling in my readings in Isaiah. I have a confession – I have been afraid to read it in the past. Why? I don’t really know why except whenever I would read a little I always felt like I was hearing how I was going to be destroyed ... or something and that frightened me. I also felt like my failings, my weakness, my me-ness excluded me from the promises, from the love and caring. But now, reading in it, I am getting this picture of such a wildly passionate God, and it is hitting me deeper how much God’s love goes to the core and that being true how His love can mean a little destroying along the way, but not love like I know it, or have to give but love that restores and creates new paths, new sight, new colour in life.

That accompanies the words I am reading in A Circle of Quiet, about the importance of the one, the me in the universe, and how I am part of His whole pattern of things, without me the web falls apart, without anyone of us there is a gap, a gapping or would be if He allowed it to be.

Combined with random thoughts like:

How dust is like sin, always present no matter how often one vacuums; which I was at the time.

How teaching my children to write neatly is forcing me to face my own reluctance to be more disciplined.

And I am just a pile of random unconcluded bits of things wandering skittering ... skipping across the pond.

Love over time equals ...

I found this: Fox News link over at Lois E. Lane's site.

It just struck a chord, perhaps it is the proximity to Valentine's Day, I don't know but I really liked it and wanted to share it as well. Yes, it may seem sad, but there is something about the way the arms overlap, such tenderness somehow makes it ... I don't know... better?

Thanks Lois.
[God] is not proud...He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him.
CS Lewis-The Problem of Pain

Thursday, February 08, 2007

There is no fatigue so wearisome as that which comes from lack of work.
Charles H. Spurgeon

(Why does that hit me so close to home ... literally?)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Love is something more stern and
splendid than mere kindness.
CS Lewis-The Problem of Pain

Monday, February 05, 2007

Who I am ... part three

I may have rushed this section, but only because I didn't want to leave that other section, unanswered -- because there is another side to all of it, and I am walking it, living it, breathing it - I came through it all, and I feel my life is all the "sweeter" for it,

Part One
Part Two

I am the young woman who packed her things into small bags and headed to a university in the big city the eve of her 18th Birthday, who had wanted to be farther away - almost a continent away - but lacked the nerve in the end; who clung onto a bad habit despite all signs it was going to end badly and did, years later.

Who took long deep breaths of solitude amongst the multitudes, walked in the rain, and skipped classes to go see the whales but who also oddly missed the paths she knew,

Who felt adrift and unprepared to bear the weight of her own life, who was paralyzed with doubts and fears, lacking the tools to manage her way with confidence or grace.

Who after years of attending random churches with her sister – quietly - unbidden – inwardly ask this Christ to forgive her – to heal the gaping tide threatening to take her under – who stood utterly silent and still whilst a man’s voice boomed in her ears the incomprehensible plea of her heart, who walked away giddy and afraid;

Who followed through with her plan to get her BA, and then her B.ED.,

Who spent many days alone with her cats,

Who felt her bones give way when she heard the crazy sorrow in her sister’s voice and knew she could not bear the stone herself any longer, who lay flat out broken upon her apartment floor and knew the only thing holding her there was Christ’s love, who felt pain seeping through her whole self as He attend to her wounds, leeched out the poisons, and began making her anew. Who had to tell all her people; who removed herself from others;

Who saw the beginnings of a ‘real’ relationship with her father; Who learned too soon of his numbered days; Who knew, as sure as God, that she needed to be with her sister and the baby; who packed her futon on top of the loaded truck and left her city life behind and returned to the dry dusty one she had written off; Who held her sister’s newborn son and told him how much he was loved and wanted nine short days before her father breathed his last -- all those miles away,

Who was as much infant in Christ as the baby she helped to bath,

I am the woman who met her him after dinner with a friend, a bible study member, his mother; Who found he just wouldn’t stop asking questions and she couldn’t help but care to answer him; who shook her head at the four year age gap; who was farther gone then she was prepared to acknowledge; who sealed it in a letter and was rewarded with his heart; Who said yes, and yes, and yes from the top of hilltops ‘yes’ in her shy under-worded way just a year later, so grateful her prayers had been answered, and still so unknowing of the magnitude of the gift,

I am the woman who loves how he looks straight into her eyes without flinching, brash, bold, and beckoning, who loves listening to his voice – deep, resonant, and redeeming – and how two dance forward as one.

I am the woman who nine years later is utterly amazed at how love is there everyday, through muck and mire, through loss and mourning, through debt, through weakness, through today and through tomorrow too; who knows that no one is truly trustworthy but some are worth putting trust in thanks to God;

Who marvels at how an inside so tainted with fear could be gently remade, renewed, reborn out of love, to the point that the memory of the other feels a foreign land long forgotten,

I am the mother who loves watching her lover turn father; the happy grin little Bookworm gives when I tuck long chestnut brown locks of hair behind her ears - around the arms of her glasses - as she reads another book from her stack, and the full embodied joy I behold in Mother Goose's being -held back only by physical realms - as I cupping soft cheeks in long worker hands to plant a kiss on that silly billy face, and Little Imp's nightly routine of nose rubs, cheek kisses, two songs and deep sighs of contentment all rolled over into a bundle of blankets and “little baby buddies” and running my hands through Buddy Boy's short shorn hair as he runs past “brumbrumming” like little boys with cars are known to do.

I am the mother who loves being here with them in this time, in this place but goes crazy if I have to maintain a schedule or routine or do paperwork or abide by what is “expected” of me. Who still feels the call for adventure above the call of the vacuum, or dishes, or laundry but who falls painfully short of patience when she doesn’t have time to just sit and not talk and not answer questions, or give hand gestures or have to think about anything but sitting and just being.

I am the mother who despite the gaps and holes in her understanding of parents, finds parenting familiar; who looks to another Father for help and understanding, and is often dumbstruck by how blessed she is to be where she is and with whom,

I am the teacher turned homeschooler who loves “AHA” and avoids reports and who would love a bus like that Ms. Frizzle; who has more books than space for them, is addicted to resources but never does the same thing twice; who can’t seem to follow any one curriculum without combining it with her own ideas and something she found on the internet; who worries about being so responsible for their “brains”

Upon first impression, I am the woman who is quiet, caring, comforting if still stand offish,
But who will with time and comfort probably try to shock you with an antidote of two just to see your eyes light up with surprise, who is a loyal lifetime kind of friend to her people; who is deeply passionate about her bottom lines; who loves a good project, a good book, deep conversations, and authenticity.

I am the person who is growing, ever so slowly but still growing, more comfortable in her introversion, herself, her story and His gifts and then will turn silly giddy woman in uncomfortable situations.

I am the woman who still loves to dance, green moist forest air, and poetry but never the orange sweater.

Who still longs to learn to love and live freely - without fear and doubt - without the familiar twinge to pull back, to stay 'safe'

I am the person who dreams of years of laughter, joy, and deep relationships and is grateful for every day she wakes up and finds it all so real,

And who hopes - breathlessly prays- that each of her children will know His love - deep, real, and personal.

I am the she He planned for, toiled for, sought and caught, cares for and disciplines,

I am this child given this life and these people to love,

Praise God.

because his hands were so very boy ...

I mean look at those mitts, they eclipse his face ... well almost. I love the photo for two reasons the first being: that is my boy and he was (is) so very cute and because I can see just how his arm ends in a fist, not a wrist but a fistful of hand, his legs ended in a similar way ... he had cankles (reference anyone?).
There you have it, this weeks photo background.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.
Frederick Buechner

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Who I am ... part two

Part One

This next part is harder to write. Not because I don’t have the memories to draw from but because it is more transitory– how do you grab hold of change and put that on paper – I tell you this because it is not all pretty, and I know I started this as part of a meme type contest thing but the questions and the process have kind of gotten to me and I have perhaps stretched it out to places you may not be comfortable reading about: So if you wanted a sunshine and bunnies version, you should probably move on to another page:

For I am the ‘tween who with fluttery heart plucked up the courage to ask him to let her go, who watched him cry and who never felt quite like her feet walked on solid ground again after she saw and he said yes.

Who popped up to surprise her mother – clinging to the hope she had made the ‘right’ choice and was rewarded with a quick year of joy before being moved over a thousand miles away to a dry dusty place with tumbleweeds not moss, hills not mountains, heat she thought would end her and who saw it all as ugly and longed for the green, for snow on ‘real’ mountains and the way things were.

I am the teenager who started high school in this semi-arid place and was befriended by the floaters, the dreamers, the “other” crowd, and fit right in. Who knew more about sex, drugs, and rock and roll than all the “cool” kids combined but was always seen as a muted wallflower, and liked it that way.

Who learned to walk lightly for fear of waking her mother before the alarm to get up for the graveyard shift, who watched darkness creep into her mother’s bright face and didn’t know what she could do to erase it, who listened to them fighting and crying and tried to reason it all out for her mother, explaining, bridging, stabilizing. Who watched her mother struggle, throw reason to the wind, seek comfort in substances, in causes, in dishes, in politics but never find it. Who tried to insulate the world, soften edges, lighten moods, fluff up moments in hopes of lifting the weight which tugged them all down, who at times resented all the lost efforts, dropped energy. Who wanted her mother back, the one who would hug her full bodied rather than limp armed; who longed to hear the words “I love you” and not “me too.”

Who picked up his growing bottle collection as readily as his philosophies, his impassioned vision for a world under assault from those Multinationals, who always took his side and accepted all his words for truth as openly as she took the cup of honey tea to sooth a cough. Who inserted his words, his beliefs and lack thereof for her own.

Who rode the bus to visit her distant father and siblings, newly planted in a city 8 hours north, who was handed $100 dollar bills and told to buy some pretty clothes, who scrubbed his nicotine coated walls trying to make the sad little office/house pretty. Who spouted all her borrowed principles at him trying to prove herself strong, right, alright. Who still saw a ‘sad’ in his eyes that unnerved her. Who wished he would just say what he knew that she didn’t, that he would stop being dad and be what she needed.

Who wore no make up, discount store t-shirts and remodeled jeans fashioned with political pins and fancy fabric side panels and loved to visit her sister and try on all of her preppy clothes (except the orange sweater – especially not the orange sweater) but hated that she would take clothes from her mother knowing her mother had so little.

Who rebelled against her upbringing by becoming a straight laced, goodie two shoes.

Who had to as kindly as possible tell her best friend not to eat the brownies on the table without being overt about the ingredients therein.

Who marched in Peace Rallies, set up clubs to help save the world, who dreamed of going to Africa to help those big eyed babies who broke her heart. Who was a quick study and loved all things poetical and smart sounding. Who charmed teachers, deflected truths, and built up card castle towers in which to hide.

Who made the honour roll almost every term without enough effort but never saw a parent in the audience the night she was recognized.

Who lost all footing the night his drink laden head landed in her lap and his hands hugged her quaking bone jelly legs and who slept with a bat that night and never again walked around the house in anything less than full armor.

Who knew that her foundations were cracked and crumbling, who wanted so desperately to be loved she accepted the first offering she trusted.

Who gave away more of herself in the attempt to find something to hang upon that she lost all direction or sense of herself.

Who was fond of thinking back to when she was a child, to the carefree moments that had been.

Who dreamed of having a sitcom perfect life complete with love interest, 2.3 children, a fabulous job, and beautiful home far from here and knew she must never reveal the stone of grief she carried alone.

continued in Part Three

Friday, February 02, 2007

Who I am ... part one

I am the baby girl born in a small industry town terraced in the wilds of the Coastal Mountain Range of British Columbia to a dreamer burdened and a free spirit chained, who together made beautiful babies but a poor match destined to move in different directions.

I am the babe who was healed after fire and smoke invaded her infant lungs;

Who knew life with a him who was not her dad but who stayed at home with her like moms usually did and was more father and mother and yet always himself;

Who was battled over and bruised;

Who trailed after the long legs of three older siblings;

Who lived out her Mother’s adventures doing without electricity, running water, or a privy in the house while surrounded by new and intriguing people who wore halos of pungent smell, listened to folk rock bluegrass reggae music and tried talking while holding their breath; who helped her siblings carry jugs of water home from school when her mom and step dad were gone on one of their big people adventures, who liked hanging from the support beams 8 feet up and over the cement floor of our Milk house home, who didn't understand what a squatter was and always loved to shower down at the docks and look at all the boats.

Who looked out windows at the Olympic sized riding arena in her Father’s backyard watching the riders go round and round listening to the cadence of his voice as he "shot the breeze" with visitors over white purex mugs of bitter black coffee, who counted the knocking of hooves against jump props; who loved saddling the stubborn grey pony and riding into the back woods alone oblivious to the threat of bears; who climbed up into hay loafs through clever hatches in the tack room ceiling breathing in the linseed oil and dry alfalfa dust, who notched out little rooms amid the bales and pretended to be home and whom was left wondering why she had been taken so far away from her mother

Who played with Barbie and watched Three’s Company during the week and on the weekend lived out a pioneer fantasy backpacking into the heart of the woods, listened to the song of timber wolves and melted into the peace of the moss floor of forests around the one room cabin her mother had made her new home, who slept in a bed close to the ceiling, who felt next to the stars, who loved the heavy pile of blankets heaped up and the shock of complete darkness the instant after the last kerosene lamp was blown out, and fell asleep to the crackle, snap, pop of the woodstove and dreaded the rickety rackety road trip home Sunday night;

Who knew to make herself level and avoid looking directly into her father’s face after that weekend when the police dogs and helicopters had come to pay a visit at her mother and step-father’s cabin in the woods, when they even took the really tall plant in the corner and tossed it into black Glad garbage bags;

I am the child who played “see me not,” and “cold toes” on mum’s back, backgammon by candlelight and “the Intrepid Shapiro.”

Who loved the water and watching people and dancing in open fields to live bluegrass music carefree and alive as breath and the warm dusty smell of the hayloft.

Who was a treasure box stuffed full of every bit of silver lining that could be found or woven out of the messy things she could not figure out around her.

Who dreamed of always feeling as loved and accepted, as joyful as she did on those weekends away.

Who never thought she would ever understand why she had to live with her dad, and why everyone spoke in low tones about her mom, why no one ever said things directly to her, why her father’s eyes were so sad and her siblings so hesitant, and how all of it fit together for her.

Continued below

Part Two
Part Three: Now

This post is part of meme type contest thing hosted by Mary over at the Owlhaven it is based on a writing exercise which gives the writer certain prompts through-out. There are lots more over on her site, along with the outline if you are interested in participating.

Photo found: here at RonThiele's Photography Gallery
There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting.
Anne of Green Gables

Thursday, February 01, 2007

When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable.
Madeleine L'Engle