Saturday, May 29, 2010

I am getting old!

I don't like the sound of that. My mother's brother, Jimmie, told me when I was little that old was fifteen years older that your are--at any time in your life. To a ten-year-old 25 is OLD. To a thirty-year-old you are really starting to get go down he other side of the hill at 45. When you are 75 you look at 90 as about as far as life will be an option. My mother may have disagreed with him, though I never heard heard her say anything about it. My father was 16 years older that she was, so maybe she was especially sensitive about the subject.

Neither my mother or my father attained my exalted age--73, so I have to look elsewhere for role models. My aunts and uncles endured into their late seventies and eighties, but I am looking to James Fowler and Erik Erikson's developmental stage theory for my inspiration. From that perspective you never get through growing and learning and maturing. Fowler says we lean into God's future, the coming Kingdom of God. Getting old does have some advantages: You never get through.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I like to make my mother proud

I think she would approve of my efforts to improve my writing skills. I am working on articles because I like them the least. I much prefer fiction and poetry, but the articles are very hard, and even essays need work. It seems the things I want to write won't be still long enough for me to capture them. Memories and ideas are fluid creations that don't maintain a consistent shape or color. They vanish into the mist or the sunset while I am thinking about how to approach them. I read a blog that described how to write an article. I had learned this before, but it helps to read it and think about it again. Now where did I put that idea I wanted to put into an article?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Morning

Sunday has a different feel. Sunday is a different kind of day. I look forward to Sunday. It is supposed to be the Day of Rest, but for a long time it was the busiest day of my week. When my kids were little, I got up early to get dinner started before shepherding the whole mob to Sunday school and Church. Sometimes I taught a class. Then we came home and ate dinner. On Sunday afternoon we usually went for a drive or visited someone. In those long gone days we had evening services at Church, too. It was a long day.

This morning I will go to my daughter's church for the early service at 8:30, then to Sunday school at my church and the 11:00 o'clock service where I will sing in the choir. Then I will come home and get my Hebrew lesson online from 1:00p.m to 2:00. Tonight I will take food for a fellowship supper at Barton's Chapel at 6:00 p.m. I guess Sunday is still my busiest day.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Help, Mama! Teach me to use the Internet!

You may not have noticed, but I am old. I didn't grow up with the computer. I actually grew up with a manuel typewriter, and that was very high class. Most of the people I grew up with used a fountain pen; I mean the kind with liquid ink. I can type a letter and even read email and do a simple search. It's fun. But there are depths to internet activity that I haven't plumbed yet, maybe I never will. When I try to read about what it means and how to do it, I find I am in the deep end of Google. I can't even figure out how to get my blog read by anyone.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tired with all these

I am tired. I spent two very difficult days. My feet hurt, and I want to go to bed. I have to get something done. If I could just feel like writing was of some benefit to the world or to one person in it, I ould be very happy. I guess it makes one person happy, but its just me. Would my mother think I am ever so arrogant to think my ramblings are important? Sometimes I read old stuff I wrote a long time age. I can't tell that it has changed much. Maybe the subject matter has shifted, but the thoughts and style probably hasn't. I don't think I am a good judge of my own stuff. After all, I know what it means. Oh, well.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Eat Everything on Your Plate

"Clean your plae," my mother said. "Don't take so much if you can't eat it." I didn't know when I took it that I would get full before I finished. I guess she was trying to teach me that I shouldn't be wasteful, but somehow I couldn't get the message. My aunt or my grandmother would sagely say, "There are starving childen in China that would be glad to have what you are wasting." I wanted to say, "Send it to them," but I thought better of it.

Now I find myself hearing her admonition to clean my plate in another context. I have this life that I seem to be wasting, just sitting there with nothing to show for it. Somehow I want to use it for a good purpose. I can't send it to someone in China. I can't share it with the hungry, or can I? Is there a way to extend life to someone else, to mentor, to teach, to extend life to those who are hungry for it?

I do hope my mother gets her wish that I clean my plate, use all the chances, make the best of every opportunity, explore every avenue. Funny how I used to hate those words, but now they shine like gold.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Question--Does a Compulsion Make Me a Writer?

I write a lot on several different websites and not. Does that make me a writer? I always thought I would have to get paid a lot of money and travel in elite circles to be a "real" writer. Does volume count? I turn out a lot of words, but are they words that count? Do they inspire? Or explain? Are they significant? I wonder if Emily Dickinson considered herself a poet. She published very few poems during her lifetime, but she wrote volumes. I and I think the world of literature consider her a poet of dramatic and exalted stature. Does my ramdom ramblings constitute me a writer? Maybe that is left to posterity. All I can do is write it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Not about my mother

I was going to post some writing I did on the net, but I can't remember how to insert the link. Then I looked at the stuff I wrote, and I don't thnk I want it here anyway. If you are interested, search Factoidz, Hubpages, and Ezinearticles. It's really just junk, but it was fun. I am trying to do better. Pray for me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Mother and the Blog

I kinda wonder what my mother would have thought of my blog. She liked writing and reading and was proud of any effort made in that direction. She gave me a diary for my birthday once, but I wasn't very ambitious with it. Maybe she would approve of my efforts. Maybe she would like for me to remember her and find myself still blessed by her.

I don't think I was such a special child. My grandchildren are. But I was very ordinary. Of course my children were spectacular. But in spite of my mother's assessment that I was "superior," I was not really. That was just her looking through the lens of love.

But getting back to my mother and the blog, I think she would like it. Once I had a scrapbook of hers in which he had writer stories of school activities and friends. The stories were wonderful. Somebody threw it away when I wasn't around. I was sick when I realized it was gone, but that's the way things are. Maybe my random ramblings will bless my children someday.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Man Shall Leave His Mother and Father

I wonder if the Biblical injunction for a man to leave his mother and father and be joined unto the wife and become one flesh with her is honored in this century. I think my mother believed it. She may have been less interested in becoming one with his family, but she was comfortable with joining with him in this very deep communion. Some people seem to accomplish this joining better than others, or at least to observers it looks like it. Maybe they are more alike to begin with when we see this level of agreement: they were meant for each other. Or maybe one becomes dominant and consumes the other.

I remember and hold onto the idea that my mother and father were the former kind of lovers. Neither lost identity, but both were enriched by their love and marriage. I think they still bless me with their joy in one another. I wonder if they were familiar with Genesis 2:24?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Money and How to Handle It

My mother was very practical concerning money. I don't think I learned her methods. She said once that Daddy never told her how much he made. He just said if she wanted anything, get it. That doesn't sound very practical. She was very practical. My aunt said she stretched a dollar til it squealed. I just try not to want things I don't think I should buy. I have grown very conservative of late. I feel wasteful when I discard a heel of the loaf of bread. I think that is excessive, but I do want to be practical. I remember family members saying "Waste not, want not." I'm not really sure I will still want that heel of the loaf next week, but I may remember that I threw it away.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Remember WENN
Remember WENN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today is Mother's Day. Suddenly, I can't remember anything my mother ever told me. I do remember the way she looked, and her voice, and her laugh. I remember the last time I ever saw her alive. I guess she knew she would not live to see me grown or graduated or married. She knew she only had these few days, but she didn't want to burden me with that knowledge. She touched my hair and asked about what I had been doing. In those days there was this cloak of mystery about dying--terminal illness or end of life issues were not verbalized. I wish it had been something we could have talked about honestly so that I could have heard her say what she expected of me. I wish I could have told her what I wanted to remember about her. Now those things are lost in mists of memory. I'm glad I have a blog where I can write them down.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, May 7, 2010

Writing for a New Generation

It is funny that we never get away from what we were. My mother has been dead for over sixty years, and yet I still seek her approval. I don't live in some awful shadowland of dread, but it crosses my mind when I think I've done well or poorly. I know with my own children, even though they are grown, I think of them with pride when they achieve their dreams and support them when they slip a notch. It's funny how time ceases to exist--maybe it's a time warp of personal purportons, something others don't see that connects us across time and space. What we were is always with us, and those we were connected with are still there to share it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Books You Read

I heard the President say one day that he should be judged by the people that he surounded himself with. I don't agree. Some of the people I surround myself with are absolutely wonderful, but there are those that I deal with who have intentions I don't want accorded to me. I keep remembering that I worked in a prison, and I don't want to be judged by the morals or motives of the people around me.

I would rather be judged by the books I surround my self with. Most of the time when a book does not have ideas or content I want to be associated with, it doesn't stay in my library long. I refer to some books often because I value their wisdom or insight. Some I read over and over because a character is so enchanting. Some I pick up because I haven't read all the poems or I just want to hear them again.

This is something my mother taught me, but it didn't take much effort on her part to impress on me the value of books, especially ones that lead me to dream or inspire or, sometimes, just enjoy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Who Was My Mother?

Sometimes I have thoughts that don't fit a category, and I don't know how to title the post. Today is such a day. Today I am thinking about my mother. She died when I was ten. I never knew her as a person. I mean I knew she was strict and expected me to mind. I knew she loved my father. I knew she had good friends and enjoyed playing bridge and social events. But I only have the barest intimation of what she thought, of who she really was.

It occurred to me when I was grown that I wished I had known her as an adult. Now I think she would have been a really neat person. Then she was only "Mama." She read and talked to friends and enjoyed music. Who was her favorite band or singer? Marlene Dietrich was high on the list. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and the Barrymores were high class celebrities to her.

So much I don't know, but a few things, I do. One thing I do know: she loved me. She told her cousin Mary Frances that she had taken me to a birthday party when I was three. The children did what children do at parties. "Mary Frances, I was embarrassed for all the other mothers because Gayle was so superior to all the other children."  I had a picture from one such occasion and I thought I looked just as ordinary and plain as all the others. I cannot believe her evaluation was unbiased or clear sighted, but it does speak of her adoration of her only child. There is something truly blessed in such love.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Barefoot Time

Going barefoot was a wonderful time for me when I was young enough to enjoy such childhood pleasures. My mother, however, was strict about appropriate barefoot behavior. When the weather was warm enough to stand it, I was ready to shed the shoes,. however, she considered going barefoot a risk to my health. I think it has been proven by some researcher somewhere that going barefoot does not increase the likelihood of colds, flu, or congestion in the sinuses. My mother insisted that June was soon enough to go barefoot outside. I could not convince her that the fresh grass that grew soft and green in March and April was not a threat to my health. It felt soft enough to be a bed, and she did not say anything negative when I played in it or spun in circles until I fell on the ground with the world spinning. It was only my feet that must be protected from the lush leaves until June 1.

I've been walking in the grass all the way to the mail box for a month now. I hope my mother is not suffering shame at my disobedience. I would like to reassure her that it still feels like spring has finally come.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

"Do Your Best!"

My mother's mantra pounding in my ears is still, "Do your best." Are all mothers like that? She knew if I just tried, I would succeed. Here I am trying something new, and I still hear her voice urging me on. Blogging is writing. I have wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember, but I didn't think I was good enough. I have submitted pieces for publication, but received little encouragement. Here I am writig for public consumpton. What'd you know? I made it!