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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Story That Has To Be Written

Having a bit of fun with the prompt from Day One of  Trust 30



The story that has to be written goes something like this:

Riding around with a goat in the back seat of my 64 Chevy Nova was quite an experience.  You see, I bought it from Frenchie in Artesia to replace two ducks that my dog unfortunately had killed.  The ducks belonged to my neighbor and apparently two ducks are equal to one goat.  So, I ...

Or maybe the story that has to be written is about how an Irish Setter named Ginger saved my life by going for the jugular vein of the man who had his hands wrapped around my throat.  Ginger was a mahogany blur just as everything began to go dark and my body was beginning to slacken...

No, no, the story that must be written is the one about the time  I was jogging in a stadium in Athens one  morning with a man I'd met the night before.  He dropped by my hotel early the next morning to pick me up. Every time we circled the stadium and passed a dark tunnel leading to who knows where, he tried to coerce me into the tunnel until he became irate and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck...

How about the story of Daniel Webster (red freckeld boy--real name, I pinky swear) and the multiplication tables in 4th grade wherein we both had stars on the chart up through the 5s.  I stayed after school to recite my 6s and with the encouragement of Mrs. Gittings went all the way through the 12s.  Daniel's face the next day was priceless...

Or, there is the story about my parents on a blind date just after WWII when my dad got drunk and expected mom to go upstairs for a ride but she refused so he threw his beer bottle down the steps after her and called her a bitch.  Every day for a month, he sat on the front steps of her house apologizing and trying for a second chance...

Or there's the one about..

Oh dear, perhaps there is a blogger, or ten, from whom I can borrow 15 minutes because clearly I cannot get all this written in the 15 minutes allotted to me alone.

Gwen Bell – 15 Minutes to Live



The story that has to be written goes something like this:
It is all a gift.  Every living breathing moment of my life is a gift  for which I am grateful.  I am grateful that my ex-husband was such a scoundrel because I learned from him how strong I needed to be.  My best friend of 40 years was most assuredly a gift.  She taught me that I am a lovable person in spite of my flaws and boy, did she know about each and every one of them.  My son is the greatest gift of all.  He taught me that I could love more than I ever could fathom. I would die for him if that proved to be necessary.  Luckily, the world doesn't usually work out that way.  My husband has taught me that quiet strength and humor and tolerance are so very beautiful.  My granddaughter is also the greatest gift because she teaches me each and every day that she has been in this world, that it is all so simple and can be very sweet.  My daughter in law has taught me that hard work and following a dream aren't easy and don't always pay off but the journey is the destination and it is constantly changing.  My parents were the first gift of my life.  Far from perfect but actually perfect in small but important ways, they loved me and cared for me and created a feeling of safety that allowed me to move confidently in the world.  To this day, they are responsible for every good thing that has happened to me.  So if I were going to die in 15 minutes, I would spend it writing just what I wrote and then I would sit in silence and let gratitude envelop me for whatever time I had left--which is about two minutes.  


*I am participating in this writing challenge:
#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and 
to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey.  More info can be found here:
http://ralphwaldoemerson.me/prompts

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Music To My Ears

      Watching this man,  John Daversa, perform with his trumpet made it difficult to tell where he ended and the trumpet began.  Or vice versa.  Of course the brass was a big tip off.  But it was almost too personal to watch him play that thing and yet so exciting and delicious for my ears that I could not NOT watch.  And then the old thoughts came back.  Why don't I play an instrument?  What moment passed by unnoticed  when my heart told me that I must play that violin or die?  Or that cello?  Or that piano?
     When I used to express these thoughts to my mom she gave me the most lovely way of looking at the situation.  She acknowledged the envy, the feelings of longing and simply told me this:  "It is important for someone to be the audience.  It is necessary to the musician for you to appreciate all that beautiful music."  I can still hear her saying that.  Words can sound an awful lot like music sometimes.
     This morning, my husband and I walked to the corner to watch runners pass through our neighborhood as they ran the annual marathon in our city.  Last year we biked it with some friends and I realized the importance of 'audience'.  Their  cheers of encouragement and support were delightful to hear and served to help me up a difficult hill or through a long arduous stretch.  Perhaps someone standing along the side of the road last year wished to themselves that they could ride in a marathon.  Perhaps  this morning  they did.

Small But Mighty

     She is small but mighty.  And even though she is little compared to me, she is big for her age and growing right before my eyes.  My granddaughter came for 9 days and I am just now recovering from the blur of pink with blond ringlets that flew past me all week.  Such strength and energy.  I beg to differ with anyone who says girls aren't as active and energetic as boys.  All day.  This wee person went at it all day long.  Full speed ahead.
      Everything is possible to her.  She has restrictions put on her from the taller people in her life but as far as she is concerned, she can do it all.  And when it is all over and the day folds in on itself, she has a difficult time settling down and letting go.  She asks for what she needs though and I can still hear her tiny voice whispering, "Put your arm around me Mimi."  "Don't leave."  Then she would grab me around the neck, pull me close and slowly her breath would deepen and even itself out and I could feel her letting go.  Folding in on herself and her dreams.  All rested up and ready to go, the next day was another whirlwind of activity.  My best tack was to follow her example, rest up and prepare myself for another day.
Which I most happily did.