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Memoir or Autobiography?

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Some folks assume that writing a memoir or autobiography serves as a catharsis.  Not always so.

With the impetus of Nanowrimo, I wrote in earnest, every day for thirty days.  My earliest memories took me from perhaps 3 years of age until about 11 or 12 years old.  Was it cathartic?  Hardly.

There are those folks who write about their experiences to heal themselves, to expose themselves, to shock, stimulate or educate or simply to gain notoriety.  My reasons?

Partly, I would like to educate, to show that some children are capable of deep thought, are deeply sensitive and have the potential to become great healers or scientists or anything of their choosing, given the love and guidance required.

Further, looking through the eyes of a child, through that child’s point of view, or thought process gives pause to the question of nature versus nurture.  How does a child come through unscathed in the face of adversity?  How does another child come through damaged, broken?

I believe that to see the world through my eyes as a child is to learn what that, or any child thinks, how she thinks and what she was capable of.  Or not.

Writing the first draft was quite challenging.  I resisted editing as well as speaking in adult terms, with my own commentary as an adult.  I found it difficult at first to keep within my own challenge to BE the child that resides within me.

The thoughts of a child in any situation are mostly unknown.  We can all look AT our childhood experiences.  Delving more deeply into the thoughts seemed more elusive.  We have to become the child again and so the past and present meld into one.

Children don’t have the language or freedom to expose themselves fully.  Living through the experiences again, complete with thoughts, is a rare glimpse into an adult’s mind. Savvy or otherwise, adults wouldn’t have the time and shouldn’t have the inclination to expose themselves and every thought.

Quantum physicists believe that the past, present, and future all exist at once.  Though I haven’t fully grasped the concept of the future existing as I write these words – perhaps a cursory look at the idea will bring understanding – certainly I can say that writing from the perspective of the child I was and being in the present, (now past) while doing so, the past and present do exist at once.

Writing a memoir, or, a work from a specific part of one’s life seems more relevant. A work on a whole life is impossible as a whole life would include a death or the end of life.  Logically then, no once can write an autobiography as one’s death would have to be included.

I’ve let the first draft simmer for nearly a month.  I’m ready to move into a review and rewrite.  The teen years are speaking to me and my list of prompts grows every day.

Why did I write?  I had to.

Who will read?  You.  Me.  Someone.

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Who’s there?

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While picking my earliest raspberries for the market on Saturday, I considered the company I keep.

The thorns, the berries, the bees and Amadeus, my little gelding, pestering me at his corral fence for a handout.

And that’s not all.  I was surprise by a number of insects, no doubt pests, and this  –

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lovely California Tree Frog, about the size of a thumb.  🙂  What beautiful camouflage!

Art-ificial Flower

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 “I’d rather view a corpse than an artificial flower.”

Decades ago, having read that quote, (author unknown) I thought it odd, glib, even morbid.

In a contest between a corpse and an artificial flower, the corpse reigns supreme?

  The meaning of the statement can be applied far beyond the simple components – ‘corpse’ and ‘artificial flower.’

Here, they serve perfectly for points of discussion.

An artificial flower:  imitation of a living flower, the essence of a natural flower, a stand-in for longevity.

  When I read the quote decades ago, flowers were plastic and wire and a poor copy of living, fragrant flowers. They looked cheap, manufactured, pitiful. They smelled like plastic and lasted for as long as the dust could be washed off if their limited colors didn’t fade.  They were placed by gravesites, in permanent arrangements at home and even in public gardens.  The artificial flowers were a small indicator of a very large lust for longevity.

Though we see the hopeful creation of real flowers essence in paper, silk, ribbon, fabrics, more delicate plastics and other materials of the art-ificial flower art-ist, there is no equal for a living or even a cut, dying, genuine flower.

The volatile components of a real flower, incomparable, the optical spectrum, brilliant.  Bees and birds dance on real flowers, our sense of touch, should we so wish to summon it, evokes delicate, unequaled perfection on our fingertips. Wind moves flowers, shuffles the leaves, immersing us in a glistening hush.

What of the child who sees in the dandelion, flower or seed head, the love of Mother?  The child selects the living flower, crushes the stem with eager little hand and offers the gift?  The flower becomes more than a living thing, more than a dying thing, and is further saturated by love.

How, then, does a corpse become more remarkable than an artificial flower?  In all cases, the corpse, having once lived, all the fragility, beauty, strength, uniqueness and complexity of a human being parallels the simple, natural flower.   No artificial flower could be nearly as memorable as a life, of any kind.

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A Measurement of Self

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At six a.m., I woke to hear noises of splashing, thrashing in water.  As it continued, I became concerned that one of the rabbits had escaped, found her way into a large bucket of water in the bathtub.  We use the bucket to collect water while it warms, for our showers.

I didn’t interpret the sounds to be life threatening, but I decided to get up and make sure all my creatures were safe.

It’s cool in the early mornings and the horses were running, playing, as the sun had already risen.  All the little creatures were in their proper places, and the water bucket untouched.  Likely, my daughter’s cat had found an activity in the next bedroom which sounded quite the same as water play.

I went back to bed, to rest my weary back.  The price for weeks of gardening and yard work is terrible back spasms.   The warnings are waning, and for the rest of the season, I hope to be smart enough to pace myself.

Surprisingly, I fell to sleep again and dreamed a theme I’ve visited throughout life, for as long as I can remember.

I walked into a large, crowded restaurant.  For the large number of people present, it was fairly quiet.  I looked around and decided to fly above them, to show them, perhaps, that it can be done.  

I used my take-off technique –  a little bounce to get off of the ground.  I felt gravity release me and as  I moved forward, covering about 15 feet,  kept my legs bent behind me at the knees.  Successful on my first attempt, I  gained altitude and sailed above the crowd, under my own power of thought and technique.  I was aware that I could crash down at any time, and had to hold my technique in the forefront of my thoughts.  I recalled other times I had flown for long periods or could not get off the ground at all.

Most folks didn’t notice or, if they did, they remained quiet, unchanged.  Though it was a restaurant, I noticed no food on any of the tables during my flight.

Time to come down, I suppose.  I decreased my altitude and came down to the ground/gravity in a somersault position, with a slight bang. I didn’t execute the somersault, simply used it for protection upon landing.  The entire process, quite fluid. 

The restaurant continued in quiet status. 

As I was back on my feet, I felt pleased that I was able to fly, so effortlessly this time. 
I experienced a sense of peace, knowledge of self and power.

Have you ever dreamed of flying?

If so, what did your dream say about you? What was it telling you?

What do you think of my dream?

I would enjoy hearing from you!

They call me the Pusher.

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I’m a comfort pusher.  Comfort is a sense of physical or psychological ease.

While raising my children, comfort was an integral part of the unrelenting nurturing.

When I receive guests, their comfort, as well as mine, is paramount.

How do I assist folks in being comfortable, when they exhibit discomfort, squirming, tension, dis-ease or lack of peace?  Start here –

  • Take up the chatter.  Fill the empty, awkward space with friendly, softly spoken words.
  • Offer a seating position in which s/he can see everything.  Be sure there are no surprises from behind.
  • Smile a lot.  Put the twinkle in your eyes.
  • Give the person something to do with their hands and thoughts.  A beverage or snack is fine for some. Don’t ask, just give.  I may shove forth an ice-breaker, such as a polished stones or a small, framed, antique photograph from my collection.  Occupy the mind, and the dis-ease will dis-appear.
  • Keep it intimate.  By focusing on one person or small group, you can quickly build rapport.  Everyone becomes comfortable, secure.
  • Touch.  A touch on the shoulder or arm, lets ’em know you care.
  • If things seem sticky, take the spotlight off of him/her and share something of yourself.  I may offer to visit with my horses or look at the something wonderful in the garden.

Wondering what brought this on?

While at the Farmer’s Market, I noticed that half the vendors don’t acknowledge my presence, look me in the eye, seem interested in a sale, or even know I exist!  I wonder if the problem is their discomfort with me, or some kind of misplaced uneasiness with the selling process!

If the mood strikes me, I test, or play little games.  I’ll stand at the booth to see how long it will take for the vendor to acknowledge me, or even make eye contact with me. Some never do!

If I really want something, I’ll wave their vegetables around in the air – “HELLO!!”  No one can ignore a crazy lady.

Mind you, I’m not uncomfortable when someone ignores me, and it’s kind of amusing when I get ignored for more than 30 seconds.  That may not seem like a long time, if we two are the only ones standing there! Tick-tock, tick-tock…  I’m staring at you!!

Did I say I was big on comfort?  I’m also big on entertainment.

I’m planning on becoming a vendor at our local Farmer’s Market next year and everyone who takes the time to stop by will be comfortable. I’ll have a chair ready for those that need it, recipes, smiles, clean food, and cool stuff and someone who cares about the customer’s comfort.

Come on in!  We’re open!

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…

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English: Woman sewing on old treadle machine

English: Woman sewing on old treadle machine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Miss me?

I missed you.  I’m due to write my monthly blog post about writing, and feel a bit lost without you.

Being active in the non-GMO movement takes time, as if I had any extra to begin with.

The garden has kept me very busy, and I’m working on saving my neighbor’s old greenhouse.   It’s a small one, will need new fiberglass panels, but I’ve cleaned it out and it’ll make a great seed starter for next season and many more.

We haven’t moved it to our place, yet.  Dry summers push us outside most every day, wet and soaking winters, indoors.  Today, it’s about 68° and sunny, with humidity around 80%.  It’s a fine day, though very windy. I wouldn’t mind a bit of rain, though.

I’ve started practicing hand quilting again, and though I’m no master, I find it quite relaxing and challenging.  Quilting and sewing are both hobbies I’ve learned on my own.  With my new vintage sewing machines, I’ve figured out that each one is good at something, much like people.

I’m ready to start on my genealogy again, a month long break is enough.  My mind is fresh and my shovel is ready to dig.

See you soon!

Destiny

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THE TICK

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