Monthly Archives: December 2012
Day 3 on the road. Most people probably don’t jump in the car to find a place of stillness, but new sights and people help to do that for me. I hope in this season of crazy, that you find those moments to appreciate and just breathe.
Sometimes you just need to start moving. Stand in one place and rust starts to creep in – into your thinking and you begin to still your senses until you find yourself frozen in attitude . So I’m off on a road trip. Hopefully the person who returns will be a bit more flexible and inspired. For the next two weeks, my posts will be more sporadic because of internet connections. If I’m late with a comment, it still matters to me and I will respond. Thank you for helping me to connect with so many wonderful new friends.
Chalk drawings only remain until it rains. Their innocence and beauty are fleeting.As Friday’s news flashed on my computer screen in the middle of the day, I couldn’t bring myself to read it while I was still in school.Our students were celebrating the end of the semester parties even though classes would still meet on Monday and Tuesday.So Monday morning we return and for someone who usually has more than enough words, I’m feeling totally inadequate.All I have are questions, questions that won’t be asked or answered by newscasters, interviews or political rhetoric.Political fighting over whether we should have access to guns is not going to help these families or bring back the innocence and sense of safety six and seven – year olds are entitled to feel.My questions are more introspective. Would I have had the strength to do what needed to be done at that moment? I think the answer is I would have done anything to protect children in my care. In our schools, we are well-trained to take action to thwart intruders, but in our hearts do we believe someone would come to hurt us? Until Friday, my answer would have been no.Having completed CERT training which involves triage, fire stoppage, search and rescue , all targeted towards natural disasters, you feel fairly in control.I have updated CPR , AED training, and first aid. I don’t think any of this would have helped on Friday. No one trains you to deal with a madman holding a gun who hurts children.
So tomorrow, I need to go to school with answers for my gifted children. They are great questioners, but truly there are no clear answers.Talk is not going to change what happened. Actions need to. Our society has developed into one which no longer knows how to deal with anger . Revenge, getting back bigger and better for perceived wounds seems to be the answer for so many who haven’t learned how to handle anger. Compassion for those who are different is lacking in so many and causes feelings of disenfranchisement to grow.
So the questions are those we need to ask ourselves: How do we treat and perceive others? How can we heal rifts? How can we be sure our families know they are loved each day? Am I the kind of person who would run towards the danger to save others? Can I develop the relationships that would enable others to trust and follow me? The only world we have is the one we live in at this point in time, but everyday we can work to make it better.That is all the control we can have, and we owe it to ourselves and those children and adults who had their answers.
The box of patterns in a tailor’s box said it all with ” Tailor Made to Measure”. How wonderful to know something was designed to fit your needs ! Throughout high school and college , I sewed many of my clothes. My fingers would touch a new fabric and I could just see what it might become. Sewing met my creative needs as well as ensuring that my long legs could be covered past my lower calves and that my slightly short arms wouldn’t be wearing sleeves that always needed a cuff. Somewhere along the way I stopped making my clothes; probably because it took too much time, became too expensive or because it became easier to believe that a manufacturer could make a size eight to fit me. Of course they can’t.The evidence surrounds us that our society that praises creativity and individuality, but does not offer respect or support to those who are different. In education, curriculum and testing are one size fits all. In shopping, one size fits most. Advertisers would have you join the group – elite, smart enough, wealthy enough or insecure enough to buy what they promote.Custom lives like custom clothing require a price – the decision that making choices based on self-understanding enables our lives to fit us in a way that mass-produced lives cannot. Time to find a new pattern! A chance to alter and embellish!
Finding these vintage child’s coats transported me in time. One in soft blue and a blushing brown tempted my touch.Toddlers in wool coats, matching bonnets and velveteen leggings suggest another era. I can picture them with frost reddened – cheeks, bundled in plaid blankets and riding in shiny navy blue baby coaches – almost like limousines compared to the streamlined strollers of today.
It’s hard to imagine active toddlers today surrendering their fleece , down, and freedom to wear these relics. As I finger the soft collar and am drawn to take it home, I know it’s better not to try to buy memories because they are richer in my mind than in reality.
Colorless. Not a word that most of us would welcome as description.Coral pink flamingoes looked like birthday balloons on stilts.Their color makes them memorable. So why shoot them in infrared? Mostly because I wanted to see the result. Soft shadings and textures surprised me with a stronger appeal than I expected, taking me a step closer to their essence.Certainly their color is part of who they are – but maybe all the color and shine we add to the outside disables others from seeing our innate textures and softness. Something for me to ponder.
Next to an antique shop on a rural highway stood this cotton gin. Its lines and angles interested me more than any sort of geometry lesson. Rusting in the late afternoon sun, its beauty of purpose and structure spoke of its power.When I had the opportunity to return several weeks ago, I could only mourn its loss. Now it’s an empty lot weed choked lot.
There is no longer a front door, chimneys, mantels or window glass.You can almost picture a swarm of locusts descending and eating their way through the house.No locusts. Humans. Scavenger is a more appropriate word. The house beckoned from a roadside between Nashville and Memphis. I wish I could be more specific but when we road trip, we’re never exactly sure.Empty to the elements and those that felt they had a better use for the brick than the chimneys that once graced the home, it is a carcass. Stepping over the threshold, I could find glimpses of what the home might have been.Traces of color and scraps of wallpaper provided detail. The bird’s nest meant it still could provide shelter.Late afternoon sun warmed walls and door frames. I wondered what the former owners would feel to see it standing naked to the weather and abandoned to its fate.